Tue Jul 31, 2012, 06:27 PM
Ptah (26,582 posts)
Cienega Creek, other S. AZ. streams, increasingly dry
Experts fear that their flow might be shutting down, as in the Rillito, Santa Cruz
CIENEGA CREEK NATURAL PRESERVE - The stately cottonwoods still tower 50 feet or higher.
The vermillion flycatchers still flash their reddish breasts as they flit from one bare branch to another.
The mule deer still dart into the brush if they sense a human presence.
But some cottonwoods have toppled or their leaves have turned brown, even in a wet July.
The streambed here far southeast of Tucson near Vail, four miles upstream from where Cienega Creek
merges with Davidson Canyon, is dry - no fish, no frogs, no ponds, no pools. Nothing but shrubs and grass,
cottonwoods and willows that were germinated in a wetter time.
Freelance biologist Dennis Caldwell hikes down Cienega Creek on his quest
for lowland leopard frogs. As stream flows have slowed and stopped, some
of the giant cottonwoods along the creek have toppled, like the one Caldwell is ducking under.
7 replies, 1372 views
Cienega Creek, other S. AZ. streams, increasingly dry (Original post)
Response to msongs (Reply #2)
Wed Aug 1, 2012, 01:25 AM
mvccd1000 (1,534 posts)
3. I hope so; it's needed.
I thought I remembered reading that most of that was predicted to stay well north of Arizona and not affect us much, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Response to Ptah (Original post)
Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:27 PM
Kali (39,187 posts)
4. 20 + years of drouth tends to cause that
I have over 60 years of daily rain records for the HQ. In 1995 the 43 year average total was 16.21 inches. Last time I calculated the averages in 2006, the AVERAGE had dropped to 15.3 inches.
as of 2006 33 of those 55 years was below average. The late 70s to early 80s was a nice wet period. My kids grew up almost entirely in dry conditions, they barely know what a muddy corral is.
Response to Kali (Reply #4)
Fri Aug 3, 2012, 03:17 AM
mvccd1000 (1,534 posts)
5. I read somewhere...
... (and I can't remember where now), that the 50-100 years before this century were actually above average, so most of the water treaties - as well as the "averages" our state was founded on - are based on above-average rainfall.
While the last 50 years have had less rain than the 50-100 before that, it may be that we're returning to normal, rather than dipping below it.
Regardless, the practical effects are the same. Water conservation needs to be a higher priority.