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Securing Arizona's Water Future

Phoenix AMA Geographic Features

The Phoenix AMA is 5,646 square miles in area, the largest AMA in the planning area.  Geographic features and principal communities are shown on Figure 8.1-1.  The AMA is characterized by valleys surrounded by mid-elevation mountain ranges. Vegetation types are predominantly Lower Colorado River Valley and Arizona Uplands Sonoran desertscrub with a small area of southwestern interior chaparral in the northeastern portion of the AMA.  (see Figure 8.0-10) Riparian vegetation, primarily tamarisk, is found extensively along the Gila River below the 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Principal geographic features shown on Figure 8.1-1 are:

  • The Gila River, the major drainage in the AMA, running from the southeast near Sacaton to the northwest, exiting the AMA south of Arlington.
  • The Salt River running east to west through the center of the AMA to its confluence with the Gila River southeast of Goodyear.
  • The Verde River running north to south in the northeastern part of the AMA to its confluence with the Salt River south of Fort McDowell.
  • The Agua Fria River, west of Anthem, running south from Lake Pleasant to its confluence with the Gila River south of Goodyear.
  • The Hassayampa River in the western part of the AMA, running south to its confluence with the Gila River.
  • Tributaries to the rivers listed above including Skunk Creek, New River and Cave Creek in the northeast, Waterman Wash and Centennial Wash in the southwest and Queen Creek in the southeast.
  • Numerous valleys and plains including Paradise and Deer Valleys in the east and Rainbow Valley and Hassayampa Plain in the west.
  • Mid-elevation mountain ranges along the AMA boundaries including the Vulture, Hieroglyphic and New River Mountains on the north, the Mazatzal, Goldfield and Superstition Mountains on the east, the Santan, Sacaton, South, Sierra Estrella and Maricopa Mountains and the Buckeye Hills on the south, and the Gila Bend, Big Horn and Belmont Mountains on the west. (Some of these features are not well shown on the map).
  • The highest point in the AMA is 5,868 feet in the New River Mountains.
  • The lowest point in the AMA, 755 feet, south of Buckeye at Gillespie Dam where the Gila River exits the AMA.

Click to view Figure 8.1-1

Figure 8.1-1 Phoenix AMA Geographic Features

 

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