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Challenging Unsustainable Water Use in the San Pedro River

The San Pedro River.

The San Pedro River is a remnant of a once extensive network of desert riparian corridors that traversed the Southwest.

Melanie Kay / Earthjustice

What’s at Stake

Arizona's "River of Life", the San Pedro River is a remnant of a once extensive network of desert riparian corridors that traversed the Southwest.

Overview

Recognized as a world heritage natural area by the United Nations World Heritage program, the San Pedro River supports 400 species of birds (nearly half of the U.S. total), 100 species of butterflies, 83 species of mammals and 47 species of amphibians and reptiles.

The San Pedro is the Southwest's last surviving undammed desert river, threatened by local groundwater pumping that intercepts water that would ordinarily move from the aquifer seeping through the riverbanks to provide surface flow to the river. Reduction of the river’s flows have already adversely affected the riparian and wetland vegetation surrounding the river, as well as species dependent on riparian habitat.

Case ID

2413, 2459, 3139, 3868

Case Updates

November 17, 2017 | In the News: High Country News

Fish And Wildlife Retracts Opposition To Arizona Project

Stu Gillespie, Attorney, Earthjustice: “If this type of letter is all a developer needs to do under this administration to circumvent the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Protection Act, there will be serious impacts to our environment that go unanalyzed and unregulated. That is a very disturbing outcome.”