Watershed Info No 1168

 Daniel Salzler                                                                                                           No. 1168                                            EnviroInsight.org                                Seven Items                                      September 23, 2022     

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  1. Verde River Day At Deadhorse Ranch State Park. Verde River Day will take place on Saturday, September 24th from 9 to 3pm at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. This is an action packed day where you can learn how to fish, go for a canoe or kayak ride, climb a wall, take a bird walk and build a sand castle. All for free!  Arizona State Parks is waiving park entrance fees to Dead Horse Ranch. Verde River Day was started in 1989 to bring awareness to the Verde River’s riparian habitat. Dead Horse Ranch is located at 675 Dead Horse Ranch Road in Cottonwood, Arizona. For more information, check out the Verde River Day website at http://www.verderiverday.com

    The Sierra Club’s Water Sentinels will have a booth so that we can tell festival-goers about the important work we do. This is a fun event and our participation is valuable to the program, as many volunteers first learned about us through this event! To volunteer to table with the water sentinels, please register here!

    For more information, contact Jennifer Martin at jennifer.martin@sierraclub.org.

2. TUCSON WATER REBATE PROGRAMS – Customers can apply online for residential clothes washer and premium high-efficiency toilet rebates. This means no more paper and  quicker processing times. You can apply at the link below. As of July 1, the residential toilet rebate

increased to $100 per premium high-efficiency toilet for homes and buildings constructed before 2011. These toilets must have a “MaP Premium” rating and flush at a maximum of 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf). The clothes washer rebate now provides customers a $200 rebate only when replacing a top-load machine with a front-load clothes washer from the qualifying product list. Customers replacing a front-load machine or new customers not replacing a machine will be eligible for a $100 rebate. For questions, email pico@tucsonaz.gov, or call (520) 791-4331. Source:NewsNet Daily Digest at  Tucsonm@public.govdelivery.com
Apply online for a rebate
Tucson Water
“MaP Premium” ratings (PDF)

3. How Does 600 Miles Per EV Charge Sound To You?  The U.S. is being one-upped

in the EV battery development industry.  

The Chinese Zeekr car brand, which will go on sale next year, will be the first to have a new highly efficient battery, boasting 600 miles per charge. But it’s not going to be available in North America right away.  Source:Inside Climate News Sept 17 2022

4. New Lake Mead Predictions Show Less Water Loss. There is a little good news in the Bureau of Reclamation’s September 2022 24-Month Study that shows the most recent predictions of lake levels within the Colorado River Basin.

According to the BOR, Lake Mead will continue to drop over the next year, but not as much. In July the prediction for Lake Mead’s water level for July 2024 was 1,013.70 feet above sea level. It is now predicted to fall to 1,016,47 feet. A difference of 2.77 feet.

As of Thursday, Sept. 15 Lake Mead’s water level was at 1,044.12 feet. This means the lake is now predicted to drop almost 28 feet by July 2024.


From Jan. 25 to July 27 of this year Lake Mead’s water level plunged more than 26 feet before rebounding almost four feet in August thanks mainly to the monsoon. It has since dropped a few inches to its current level.

Earlier, the National Park Service announced the boat launch ramp at Hemenway Harbor will be extended to allow boating operations down to a water level of 1,037 feet. Source KLAS and Brown and caldwell’s “Water News” Sept 20, 2022

5.  Rio Salado Habitat Restoration- Volunteers Needed! Get ready to help clean up the Salt River in South Phoenix! This is a great way to get outdoors while helping care for our local watershed! Sierra Club’s Arizona Water Sentinels holds monthly events picking up trash, pulling weeds and planting native vegetation as well as doing trail maintenance on the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in South Phoenix. Dates for the rest of 2022 are the following: October 16, November 20, and December 11th. To RSVP for a Sunday clean up, please register here.

For more information, contact Jennifer Martin at jennifer.martin@sierraclub.org.

6 At Last: Fall Is Here!  BUT Mr. Sun Disagrees For Now. This Thursday, September 22, summer ends and fall begins.  What is the fall (a.k.a.autumnal) equinox? During the fall equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the northern and southern hemispheres get the same amount of rays. The alignment officially occurs this year at 8:03 p.m. Thursday.

Much of Arizona is displaying hot temperatures remaining in the 100’s out close to it for the next few weeks. However, by planetary position, Fall is here and by mid October, it should feel like it.

During an equinox, the Suncrosses what we call the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line.      

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun crosses the equator going from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal (Spring)equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the reverse.

After the autumnal equinox, days become shorter than nights as the Sun continues to rise later and nightfall arrives earlier. This ends with the winter solstice, after which days start to grow longer once again. 

The word “equinox” comes from Latin aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, ”night.” On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length. 

7. We Finally Had A Great Monsoon! Did It Help CAP And The Colorado River Basin? Arizona’s storm lovers were finally treated to a great monsoon season filled with wind, lighting, thunder and, yes – rain! But how much did it help the current drought and Colorado River Shortage? 

Unfortunately, a strong monsoon season does very little for long-term drought in the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River basin hydrology is snowmelt-dominated, where it is estimated that 60 to 85 percent of annual Colorado River streamflow is contributed from Upper Basin snowmelt and precipitation that falls during the winter.

However, although slight, the 2022 monsoon season has had a positive impact on Lake Mead pool elevations. Lake Mead’s elevation increased almost 4 feet, which is attributed to increased intervening flows and operational adjustments due to reduced demand.

And here’s another thing that helped (albeit slightly) – the wet conditions downstream of Lake Mead have been fulfilling water demand on farms, thus significantly reducing water diversions from the river. Releases from Lake Mead were cut five times during August to prevent Lakes Mohave and Havasu from reaching critically high elevations as diversions dwindled throughout the month. The total actual releases in August were 573 KAF, which was down from 766 KAF projected in July, and was the lowest August release volume in more than 20 years. This reduction in releases also contributed to Lake Mead increase elevation of just over 2 feet.

Source: Orestes Morfin and Nolie Templeton, PhD, CAP Colorado River Programs senior analysts

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