Overall Health Index

This indicator measures the overall health of the Verde River Watershed as the average of the Water, Habitat, and Communities category scores.


Water Quality

  Water Quality Index | The Water Quality Index assesses whether water samples from a given region exceed standards for water quality.

  Water Quality Certainty | This indicator measures to what extent water quality samples in a region are adequate to provide reliable assessments of water quality.

  Turbidity | Turbidity, or water clarity, affects how easy it is to treat water.

  Macroinvertebrates | Benthic macroinvertebrates, small freshwater organisms that live in streams and on river bottoms, are good indicators of stream health because they respond quickly to environmental stressors.

 

Water Quantity

  Base Flow | Baseflow is the amount of water flowing in the river at the driest time of year, when the river is most at risk of drying up.

 

Water Management

  Surfacewater BMPs | This indicator measures if surfacewater users have adopted best managment practices and installed infrastructure that reduce the waste of surfacewater. 

  Groundwater BMPs | In the future it will be beneficial to measure the extent to which best management practices concerning groundwater use have been implemented throughout the watershed.

 

Upland Habitat

  Upland Condition Index | The Upland Condition Index uses multiple indicators to assess if upland areas are functioning as they would in the absence of humans.

 

Riparian Habitat

  Riparian Birds | Riparan birds, the birds that live in forests near the water, are more likely to be present in healthy forests than unhealthy forests.  

 

Aquatic Habitat

  Fish | This indicator compares the fish species present in an area to Arizona Game and Fish Department's managment goals.

 

Community Vitality

  Healthcare | This indicator is the proportion of people in each region with health insurance.

  Education | This indicator is the high school graduation rate in each region.

  Unemployment | Access to employment was measured as the proportion of the community that is unemployed.

  Affordable Housing | This indicator compares the proportion of households spending more than 30% of their income on housing to the national average. 

 

Community Engagement

  Civic Engagement | This indicator measures the number of times water-related topics were discussed in local government meetings.

  Digital Engagement | Digital engagment was measured as the number of times water-related topics were searched for on Google.

 

Community Recreation

  Recreation Planning | This indicator assesses the quality of recreation plans for land management agencies in the watershed.

  Visitor Satisfaction | Vistor satisfaciton was measured as the proportion of people satisfied with their experience on U.S.D.A. Forest Service lands.

  Recreation Access | Recreation Access measures the proportion of people with an outdoor recreational opportunity near their home.