The Verde River is a hard-working river, supporting a wide variety of beneficial uses, such as farming, ranching, and providing drinking water in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. However, aging infrastructure and a lack of coordination between users can result in some users taking more water from the river than they need. This indicator measures the extent to which surfacewater users in a region have adopted best management practices and installed infrastructure to use surface water efficently.
How is it measured?
There are approximately 42 irrigation ditches in the Verde Watershed. These service 1 to 1,000 water users. Utilising the Arizona Department of Water Resources GIS Layer of irrigation ditches we first selected ditches that had more than 3 known users and identified which zones they were in. This resulted in ditches in zones 3, 4, 5, and 7. These are the only regions that received a score for this indicator.
Three key best managment pracitices were selected and scored as evaluation criteria for each ditch: 1.) Type of control structure, 2.) Flow measurment, and 3.) Lining and piping. Scores for these three criteria were then generated for each zone using ditch length as a weighting factor.