Prescott-area water officials are challenging the use of a recently completed USGS groundwater model for the Verde River system. Bill Meyer, "a retired USGS hydrologist with more than 40 years' experience in quantifying groundwater resources and the impact of wells on rivers," serves as a volunteer advisor to local groups in the area. He wrote a column in today's Prescott Courier, explaining the value of the model in light of "the unwillingness of Prescott-area officials to use the model for one of its major intended purposes, i.e., to assist state and local officials in the management of their groundwater resources."
Meyer explains that:
Hydrologists are united in the concept that groundwater and surface water are a single resource. Thus pumping of groundwater will ultimately reduce the amount of water flowing to our springs, streams and rivers. It is clear from studies performed and data collected by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the USGS that ground water pumping has reduced the flow of the Verde River. As pumping increases, this reduction will continue to increase over time. Unfortunately, the state of Arizona does not recognize the fact that groundwater and surface water are hydrologically connected and from a legal standpoint, essentially manages them as two separate entities. This fact significantly limits the ability of the state or individuals to protect Arizona's two remaining high priority rivers, the San Pedro and the Verde.Also read: Prescott-area officials want to nix Verde groundwater model