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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

August 9, 2019 | In the News: The Arizona Republic

Feds Reissue Permit For 28,000-Home Plan Near San Pedro River

Stu Gillespie, Attorney, Earthjustice: “The Corps has not remedied the fatal flaws in its decision-making process. Its revised analysis contains even more contradictions and conclusory assertions than the prior flawed analysis. As a result, the Corps reissued the same permit for the Villages at Vigneto without ever analyzing the impacts of the proposed development on the San Pedro River. That’s downright inadequate and contrary to the law.”