Arizona Heritage Waters
Arizona Heritage Waters has identified the state’s most important scientific, socio-cultural, and historical water sites. This website serves as a comprehensive source of information for the public to discover the extraordinary wonders that these sites possess.
Since the beginning of human settlement in the West, access to a dependable source of water has meant the difference between flourishing and struggling for survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment. Springs and other water sources have played a pivotal role in the establishment of human cultures by providing a focal point for hunting, sanctuary during times of drought, stopping-points on cross-country expeditions and settlement routes, and supplying irrigation water for crops.
Furthermore, desert water sources are among the most biologically diverse, productive, and threatened terrestrial ecosystems. Springs are particularly threatened by human activity. Lacking designation as either a “ground water” or “surface water,” springs exist in a legal nebula—placing them in a position especially vulnerable to exploitation. Some plants and animals rely exclusively on the microclimates, nutrients, and habitat that occur at desert springs. Site protection is vital to many species’ survival.
To learn more about the project and view a list of the Arizona Heritage Waters, click here.
Arizona Heritage Waters is funded through a grant from the Arizona Water Institute.