Water resources in the desert southwest

By:  and 
Edited by: Richard MalloyJohn BrockAnthony FloydMargaret Livingston, and Robert H. Webb



As the old saying goes, there is nothing more precious than water in the desert. The Ancestral Puebloans, Hohokam, and other pre-Columbian cultures knew this and built their civilizations near guaranteed water supplies. When the Spaniards arrived in present-day Arizona, they found that the Tohono O’odham and Piman cultures had settled in prime riverine sites, turning perennial flow through lush riparian ecosystems into irrigation water for productive agriculture. The Spaniards followed suit, building their missions along perennial reaches of the Santa Cruz River, including at one place aptly named “Punta de Agua” (Point of Water) south of Tucson. When the Mormons spread southward from Utah in the 1870s, their destinations were riverside settings on the Little Colorado, Salt, and San Pedro Rivers (Figure 4.1).

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Water resources in the desert southwest
Chapter 4
DOI 10.1201/b14054-5
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher CRC Press
Publisher location Boca Raton, LA
Contributing office(s) Branch of Regional Research-Water Resources
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Design with the desert: Conservation and sustainable development
First page 73
Last page 89
Country United States
State Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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