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Water Supply Monitoring

Monitoring allows us to track groundwater and surface water conditions over time.

The Utilities Division supports two efforts that document conditions in the C-aquifer (the source of most of our water) and the Upper Lake Mary watershed. This monitoring data serves several purposes:

  • In areas where little development or pumping has occurred, data from these programs provides a way to determine baseline conditions.
  • In all areas, monitoring data collected over time allows us to assess the degree to which pumping, drought, and other factors affect our water supplies. Knowing when impacts occur is key to protecting these supplies.
  • Measurements of water levels and stream flow allow us to periodically recalibrate our groundwater model to real-life conditions. This helps ensure the accuracy of our model predictions, which we rely on for water resource planning and management decisions.

USGS C-Aquifer Monitoring Project

In 2010, the City began supporting this project. City dollars are matched by the USGS. The Navajo Nation also partners with the USGS on this project. Water levels are measured quarterly in 11 wells located in the Flagstaff, Red Gap Ranch, Clear Creek, and Chevelon Creek area (basically, between Flagstaff and Winslow); in addition, samples are collected from springs to track water quality.

Upper Lake Mary Watershed Monitoring Project

In 2014, the City Council authorized the Lake Mary / Walnut Canyon Technical Advisory Committee to support “flowtography” and the monitoring of surface water flows through Newman Canyon by the USGS. Partners include the Salt River Project, Northern Arizona University, the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service. Plans for 2017 include adding precipitation stations to monitor rain fall and snow fall.

Learn more about this monitoring effort here.

Other Monitoring Efforts

The City also benefits from monitoring conducted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) at wells in the Red Gap Ranch, Skunk Canyon, and Woody Mountain areas and all across the region.