Picacho Reservoir Enhancement Study for Water Recharge, Reparian Enhancement, and Water-Based Recreation Purposes

by Ira Mark Artz, (M.ASCE),



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water

Abstract: This study was conducted for the Pinal County Department of Civil Works in Florence, Arizona. It investigated the feasibility of a major enhancement and expansion of Picacho Reservoir, an older water supply reservoir located approximately midway between Tucson and Phoenix. The proposed multi-objective facility would include water recharge, storage of CAP water, enhancement of riparian habitat, and water-based recreation. Since it was built in 1889, Picacho Reservoir has lost over half of its original volume to siltation. The study considered several alternatives for providing additional storage including dredging the existing reservoir, enlarging the existing embankment, and constructing a new embankment adjacent to the existing reservoir. The ultimate configuration of the project depends upon availability of CAP water, availability of surface runoff water, groundwater recharge laws, issues related to endangered species, and issues related to the safety of dams, all of which were investigated by this study. Following completion of the study, Pinal County successfully applied for state grant funds for project implementation.

Subject Headings: Water-based recreation | Reservoirs | Water storage | Water surface | Aquatic habitats | Surface water | Water policy | Riparian water | Arizona | North America | United States | Phoenix | Tucson

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