Statewide Hydrologic Monitoring Program

The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) is tasked with providing stewardship of the State's precious and limited groundwater resources through active management and enforcement of the Arizona Groundwater Management Code. The Department's Hydrology Division engages in a wide variety of data collection activities in support of public needs, including the Assured and Adequate Water Supply and Recharge Programs, Drought Monitoring Program, and well drilling and well impact assessments. The Hydrology Division also supports data collection in support of hydrologic studies such as groundwater modeling and water budget development.

There is a continuing need to provide better hydrologic data in many parts of the State and to devote more attention to ensuring that activities are coordinated so that the information gathered and products produced are made widely available within the Department and to the public. This will ensure that pertinent and recent data and results are used whenever possible, reduce redundancy and increase communication.

There is also a need to collect additional field data in areas of the State subject to rapid change, such as developing areas or areas sensitive to change. To these ends, the Department has formed an internal Hydrologic Monitoring Committee (Statewide Monitoring Group) to review our data collection activities, adjust the activities to meet program needs (reaching Active Management Area [AMA] goals such as safe yield, development of groundwater water budgets, and models), and to ensure a proper flow of information internally and externally between the Department, outside agencies and the public.

The Department currently collects field data concerning:

  • Groundwater levels
  • Groundwater use in Active Management Areas (AMAs) and Irrigation Non-expansion Areas (INAs)
  • Well discharge measurements
  • Stream-flow measurements
  • Land subsidence
  • Geodetic GNSS measurements
  • Gravity changes and aquifer storage changes
  • Well site inventories (location, well construction, and other relevant well-specific data)
  • Spring locations and surface water diversion points

Many of these activities are concentrated within the AMAs of the state, as called for by the Groundwater Management Code. Recently, the Department has focused more attention in the rural areas of the State in recognition of rapid planned development in those areas and to support the Arizona Water Initiative, the statewide drought monitoring program, and the adjudication process underway in the Gila and Little Colorado River watersheds.