Arizona Land and Water Trust (Trust) is honored to have been selected as a recipient of the 2019 Freshwater Flow Restoration Accounting Fund grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) funds projects that expand monitoring and accounting of flow restoration projects in priority river systems in order to improve the efficacy of voluntary water transactions for enhancing streamflow. The goal of the Freshwater Flow Restoration Accounting Fund is to develop technical capacity and provide monitoring support to effectively account for the impacts of flow enhancement projects on stream discharge, habitat, water quality and survival of native fish and wildlife. This year, NFWF expanded the program to include projects outside of California and the Trust was the only organization in Arizona to receive funding through this grant opportunity.
With support from NFWF, the Trust and our partners will perform two hydrologic seepage runs to develop a critical baseline of flow data for an under-studied 35-mile reach of the Gila River, a primary tributary to the Colorado River. Through workshops and a summary report informed by local stakeholders, the Trust will collaborate with Gila Valley Irrigation District to evaluate – and where possible, incorporate – flow restoration priorities into the District’s irrigation modernization plans. Strategic infrastructure improvements will support Gila Valley farmers and, by increasing the productivity of water, are expected to benefit flows and aquatic habitat in this critical river system.