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Surface Water Conditions in the Safford Basin

Streamflow data, including average seasonal flow, average annual flow and other information is shown in Table 3.10-2.  Flood ALERT equipment in the basin is shown on Table 3.10-3.  Reservoir and stockpond data, including maximum storage or maximum surface area of large reservoirs and type of use of the stored water, are shown in Table 3.10-4.   The location of streamflow gages identified by USGS number, flood ALERT equipment, USGS runoff contours and large reservoirs are shown on Figure 3.10-4. Additional information on surface water in this basin can be found in Section 3.10.5 - Perennial & Intermittent Streams and Springs and Section 3.0.2 - Surface Water Hydrology. Where available, the header for each section provides a link to the data web site.  

Streamflow Data

  • Refer to Table 3.10-2.
  • Data from 18 stations on eight water courses are shown on the table and on Figure 3.10-4.  Fourteen stations have been discontinued and the remaining four are real-time stations.

  • The average seasonal flow for many of the stations is highest in the Winter (January-March) and lowest in the Spring (April-June).

  • Maximum annual flow in this basin was 1,732,915 acre-feet in 1993 on the Gila River at Calva, see Figure 3.10-4, and minimum annual flow was 56 acre-feet in 1969 on Frye Creek.

Flood ALERT Equipment

  • Refer to Table 3.10-3.
  • There are eight stations in the basin as of October 2005. 

Reservoirs and Stockponds

  • Refer to Table 3.10-4
  • Surface water is stored or could be stored in 12 large and 57 small reservoirs in this basin.

  • The largest reservoir, San Carlos Lake, has a maximum storage capacity of 1,073,000 acre-feet.  San Carlos Lake is created by Coolidge Dam, built in 1929.  This is the largest reservoir in the planning area and the only large storage dam on the Gila River.  Its uses are for hydroelectric generation, irrigation and recreation.

  • Other large reservoirs and used for irrigation, water supply, flood control and recreation.

  • There are 1,429 registered stockponds in this basin.

Runoff Contour

  • Refer to Figure 3.10-5.
  • Average annual runoff increases from 0.2 inches, or 10.6 acre-feet per square mile, in the vicinity of Safford and Thatcher along the Gila River and in the southeastern part of the basin, to five inches, or 266.6 acre-feet per square mile, in the Chiricahua Mountains along the southwestern boundary. 

Click to view Table 3.10-2

Click to view Table 3.10-2 Streamflow Data for the Safford Basin

Click to view Figure 3.10-4

Click to view Figure 3.10-4 Annual Average Flow at Gila River at Calva (Station #9466500) Water Years 1930-2008

Click to view Table 3.10-3

Click to view Table 3.10-3 Flood ALERT Equipment in the

Safford Basin

Click to view Table 3.10-4

Click to view Table 3.10-4 Reservoirs and Stockponds in the Safford Basin

Click to view Figure 3.10-5

Click to view Figure 3.10-5 Safford Basin

Surface Water Conditions

 

 

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Farming in Safford Lake on San Carlos Reservation