A major report set to be released next month by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) could substantially affect water rights in the San Pedro River watershed – and likely will lead to similarly momentous reports on watersheds statewide.

The report will be the first in Arizona to map the "subflow" zone for a watershed. If you are pumping, or plan to pump, groundwater in the watershed and ADWR identifies your well(s) as being within the subflow zone of the river, then your water rights will have to be determined in the ongoing stream adjudication In re the General Adjudication of All Rights to Use Water in the Gila River System and Source. If you do not participate in the adjudication, you may lose your water rights.

There will be a limited opportunity to file objections to the San Pedro River subflow report, scheduled for release on or before June 30, 2009. Because rulings on objections to ADWR's report may have precedential impact on well owners in other Arizona watersheds, we urge all well owners to stay informed of these proceedings. Once ADWR completes the San Pedro subflow report, we anticipate that the department will commence mapping the subflow zones in other watersheds, including the Verde, the Salt, the Upper Gila, and Little Colorado River watersheds.

Click here for background information on the forthcoming subflow report and how it may affect your water rights. For more information, contact any member of the Environment and Natural Resources Group.

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