Arizona Daily Sun | by Emery Cowan
August 13th, 2016
Running 195 miles from springs in the upper Chino Valley to its confluence with the Salt River near Phoenix, the Verde River supports thousands of acres of agriculture, feeds a burgeoning recreation industry and provides drinking water for 2 million people in Maricopa County.
The river, as many in the Verde Valley know, is also expected to shrivel to a trickle by 2050 along some of its reaches without conservation measures that will scale back groundwater pumping and irrigation diversions.
It was this somewhat bleak outlook for one of the last flowing rivers in the state that inspired a new program aimed at helping individual residents, farmers and businesses have a direct hand in helping sustain the Verde’s flows.
The new Verde River Exchange Water Offset Program creates a system where individuals can receive compensation for voluntarily reducing their normal water usage, which is translated into credits that can be sold to organizations, businesses or residents that want to reduce water consumption in the Verde River Valley…