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Groundwater Conditions in the Verde River Basin

Major aquifers, well yields, estimated natural recharge, estimated water in storage, number of index wells and date of last water-level sweep are shown in Table 5.5-6.  Figure 5.5-6 shows aquifer flow direction and water-level change between 1990-1991 and 2003-2004.  In the Verde Valley and Big Chino sub-basins few wells were measured in 1990-1991.  Figures 5.5-6A and 5.5-6B show water level changes in these sub-basins measured in other years.  Figure 5.5-7 contains hydrographs for selected wells shown on Figure 5.5-6.  Figure 5.5-8 shows well yields in five yield categories.  A description of aquifer data sources and methods as well as well data sources and methods, including water-level changes and well yields are found in Volume 1, Appendix A. 

Major Aquifers

  • Major aquifers in the basin include the Verde formation, the C and R aquifers, recent stream alluvium, basin fill and igneous and metamorphic rock.

  • The basin contains three sub-basins, Big Chino, Verde Valley and Verde Canyon.

  • Flow direction is generally from the north to the south following the Verde River.

Well Yields

  • As shown on Figure 5.5-8, well yields in this basin range from less than 100 gallons per minute (gpm) to greater than 2,000 gpm.

  • One source of well yield information, based on 262 reported wells, indicates that the median well yield in this basin is 260 gpm.

Natural Recharge

  • Refer to Table 5.5-6.
  • Natural recharge estimates range from 107,000 acre-feet per year (AFA) to more than 138,000 AFA.

  • Natural recharge in the Big Chino Sub-basin is from runoff along the mountain fronts and the major washes.  Recharge estimates for the sub-basin range from 30,300 to 31,770 AFA.

  • Recharge in the Verde Valley Sub-basin is principally from infiltration of precipitation in the higher elevations and is estimated at 167,470 acre-feet per year (Blausch et al., 2006).

Water in Storage

  • Refer to Table 5.5-6.
  • Storage estimates for this basin range from 13 million acre-feet (maf) to 28 maf to a depth of 1,200 feet.  Estimates for portions of the basin are shown in Table 5.5-6.

Water Level

  • Refer to Figures 5.5-6 and 5.5-6 A and 5.5-6B. Water levels are shown for wells measured in 2003-2004.
  • The Department annually measures 130 index wells in this basin.  Hydrographs for 20 index wells, one automated well (P) and three other wells are shown in Figure 5.5-7.  Index well hydrographs are: B-J, L-N and Q-X.
  • There are eight ADWR automated groundwater level monitoring devices in this basin.
  • The deepest recorded water level in the basin is 1,375 feet in the vicinity of Strawberry.  There are two wells in the basin where the depth to water is only one foot, located southwest of Paulden and south and east of Bellemont.

Click to view Table 5.5-6

Click to view Table 5.5-6 Groundwater Data for the Verde River Basin

Click to view Figure 5.5-6

Click to view Figure 5.5-6 Verde River Basin

Groundwater Conditions

Click to view Figure 5.5-6aClick to view Figure 5.5-6bClick to view Figure 5.5-7

Click to view Figure 5.5-6A Big Chino Sub-basin Groundwater Conditions
Click to view Figure 5.5-11B Verde Valley Sub-basin Groundwater Conditions

Click to view Figure 5.5-7 Verde River Basin Hydrographs Showing Depth to Water in Selected Wells

Click to view Figure 5.5-8

Click to view Figure 5.5-8 Verde River Basin

Well Yields



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References and Supplemental Reading for the Verde River Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Verde River above Paulden Oak Creek