ADWR Field Researchers Launch A Northwestern Arizona “Basin Sweep”

ADWR Field Researchers Launch A Northwestern Arizona “Basin Sweep”

Published
March 15, 2023
The Northwest Basins Planning Area is located in the far northwest portion of the State and comprises the Detrital, Hualapai (Hualapai INA), Meadview, and Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basins.

In-field hydrology researchers for the Arizona Department of Water Resources have launched an intensive effort to measure groundwater levels in northwestern areas of the State.

The basin “sweep,” as these focused campaigns are known, includes the Hualapai Basin, a region that recently was formed into an “Irrigation Non-expansion Area,” or INA.

The Hualapai Basin sweep kicked off late in February and will continue through the end of April. During that roughly two-month period, ADWR field services staff will make an extensive effort to measure water levels in wells in the Northwest Basins Planning Area. A survey of wells in this region was last conducted during Spring 2018. 

The data collected will be analyzed and used to obtain a comprehensive overview of the groundwater conditions and used to support scientific and water management planning efforts. Among others, data uses will include:

  • Analysis of water-level trends
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Water-level change maps
  • Hydrologic reports
  • Water resource planning and management.
The Hualapai Valley Irrigation Non-Expansion Area (INA)

The Northwest Basins Planning Area is located in the far northwest portion of the State and comprises the Detrital, Hualapai (Hualapai INA), Meadview, and Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basins. The Planning Area lies within Mohave County, and the City of Kingman is the largest community in the Planning Area.

Frequently Asked Questions about ADWR’s “Basin Sweeps”

What ADWR Division goes out to conduct the basin sweeps?

The department’s Field Services staff, part of the Hydrology Division, is responsible for collecting data.  These data result from measuring water levels in wells, collecting water quality samples, measuring discharge from pumping wells, and conducting well inventories.  Staff from the Field Services Basic Data Unit conducts basin sweeps to measure water levels for all accessible wells within a specific basin or sub-basin.

Learn more about this unit here.

Why conduct a sweep here? And why now?

Basin sweeps are conducted throughout the state on a rotational basis with priority given to Active Management Areas (AMAs)Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas (INAs), and other basins based on ADWR data collection needs.  In December, the Director of ADWR designated the Hualapai Valley Groundwater Basin as an INA. That decision is currently under appeal.

ADWR Field Services Section Collecting Data

What will the ADWR do with the data?

The department uses the information from the basin survey to develop water level maps to support scientific, planning and management studies of the basin’s aquifer system.  Data collected also support hydrologic studies such as groundwater modeling and water budget development.

The department produces invaluable “Hydrologic Map Series” reports, and “Water Level Change” reports which show groundwater conditions statewide.

What if well owners don’t want ADWR measuring their well depth?

Participation and cooperation with the department’s basin survey is entirely voluntary.

The information collected from basin surveys has proved valuable to property owners and lessees just as much as it is to state and municipal water planners.

Do well owners and lessees get to review the data?

All collected data is publicly available via the department’s Ground Water Site Inventory (GWSI) database at azwater.gov - Data Center.  In addition, data are compiled and presented in reports and maps that are available on ADWR’s Hydrology eLibrary located here.