Regions

Arizona

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

The Southwest Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf Coast and the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Southwest Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

News

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: Burning Sagebrush
September 6, 2017

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

Filter Total Items: 33
Microplastics sampling on Lake Mead
August 4, 2017

STATUS: Active

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study...

Collecting aquatic invertibrates
April 25, 2017

The Arizona Water Science Center collects water-quality data from stream and aquifer sites in networks that are part of the National Water-Quality Program (NWQP) and the National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN).

Measuring biomass
April 13, 2017

The Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support Project seeks to understand how drivers of ecosystem change like wildfire, drought, and land use affected past spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation communities and wildlife. Research methods involve 1) analyzing field-collected information (e.g. long-term plot/transect data, repeat photography) on soils, vegetation, and/or wildlife with...

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April 12, 2017

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination related to watercraft use is one of the most significant water-quality issues affecting Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GLCA). Water quality in Lake Powell is important as the lake is a water source for public and agricultural consumption. In addition, more than 2 million people visit GLCA annually, and most of these...

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April 12, 2017

In the United States, the Colorado River Compact of 1922 apportions the waters of the Colorado River between the upper basin States and the lower basin States (U.S. Congress, 1948, p. A17-A22). The Decree requires the identification of the users of Colorado River water and publication of the quantities of diversion and consumptive use stated for each diverter, point of diversion, and State....

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April 10, 2017

Elevated levels of bacteria have been measured by the USGS, National Park Service, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and other agencies, in the Upper Santa Cruz River, including within the reach at Tumacácori National Historical Park (TUMA).  Indicators of pathogens in the river at TUMA are at levels that are of great concern to TUMA personnel responsible for...

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April 10, 2017

The Sonoran Desert lands that the Saguaro National Park (SAGU) has been tasked to protect are facing an unprecedented threat from buffelgrass (Cenhrus ciliaris), an invasive perennial grass that was added to Arizona’s noxious weed list in 2005. Application of herbicide has been shown to be the only effective management tool, but knowledge of the potential biological effects of the...

USGS logo
March 29, 2017

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Regional Office (Navajo-BIA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintain a cooperative monitoring program with other local and State agencies for groundwater in the C Aquifer (Coconino Aquifer) in the Little Colorado River Basin. The goal of this program is to determine baseline groundwater conditions in the C Aquifer and other water-bearing zones...

Person using meter to collect relative gravity data near Tucson, Arizona
March 16, 2017

The Arizona Water Science Center is monitoring aquifer-storage changes and land subsidence within the Tucson Active Management Area (AMA). Land-surface elevation change is monitored at a network of benchmarks throughout the Tucson AMA by measuring changes in land surface elevation over time (approximately annually) with Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and targeted GPS...

Black Mesa, Arizona
March 15, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey water-monitoring program in the Black Mesa area began in 1971 and provides information about the long-term effects of groundwater withdrawals from the N aquifer for industrial and municipal uses. The monitoring program includes measuring potential recovery in the N aquifer as a result of the reduction in industrial pumpage by Peabody Western Coal Company.

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
March 14, 2017

Since 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Flood Control District of Maricopa County (FCDMC), the city of Phoenix, and the city of Glendale, has been collecting, analyzing, and interpreting urban stormwater information from selected basins throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area. Water-resource managers and policy makers have used this information to...

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March 9, 2017

Industrial activity at Air Force Plant 44 (AFP 44), a manufacturing facility located on property owned by the U.S. Air Force and operated by a major defense contractor, resulted in extensive contamination of groundwater with the industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) and other organic compounds. The sole-source regional aquifer underlying AFP 44 provides potable water for municipal,...

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Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS)

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

NWIS-Mapper thumbnail image
August 30, 2017

National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper

The National Water Information System (NWIS) Mapper provides access to water-resources data at over 1.5 million sites across the U.S., including current and historical data. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Janet Ruth releasing a color-banded male Grasshopper Sparrow. Photo by Noel Snyder.
July 6, 2017

Life history attributes data for Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in Arizona 2013

The Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) occurs in the desert and plains grasslands of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora, Mexico. This data was produced as part of the first intensive study of its life history and breeding ecology, providing baseline data and facilitating comparisons with other North American Grasshopper Sparrow subspecies.

Surface-water data for Arizona
March 8, 2017

Surface-Water Data for Arizona

 

Real-time, daily, peak-flow, field measurements, and statistics of current and historical data that describe stream levels, streamflow (discharge), reservoir and lake levels, surface-water quality, and rainfall in Arizona. Surface-water data are collected and stored as either discrete field-water-level measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders.

Screen shot of the data release for SIR 2017-5009
March 7, 2017

Catchment-flowline network and selected model inputs for an enhanced and updated spatially referenced statistical assessment of dissolved-solids load sources and transport in streams of the Upper Colorado River Basin

This USGS data release consists of the synthetic stream network and associated catchments used to develop spatially referenced regressions on watershed attributes (SPARROW) model of dissolved-solids sources and transport in the Upper Colorado River Basin as well as geology and selected Basin Characterization Model (BCM) data used as input to the model.

Image: Arizona Upland Plant Community in the Sonoran Desert
January 27, 2017

Mean of the Top Ten Percent of NDVI Values in the Yuma Proving Ground during Monsoon Season, 1986-2011

This study uses growth in vegetation during the monsoon season measured from LANDSAT imagery as a proxy for measured rainfall. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, USA.

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

Structures Data

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries Data

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

Hydrography Data

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

3D Lidar Point Cloud Image of San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge
April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and Fall.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Orthoimagery of Augusta Ga
April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

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Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

Filter Total Items: 112
Year Published: 2017

Geochemistry and hydrology of perched groundwater springs: assessing elevated uranium concentrations at Pigeon Spring relative to nearby Pigeon Mine, Arizona (USA)

The processes that affect water chemistry as the water flows from recharge areas through breccia-pipe uranium deposits in the Grand Canyon region of the southwestern United States are not well understood. Pigeon Spring had elevated uranium in 1982 (44 μg/L), compared to other perched springs (2.7–18 μg/L), prior to mining operations at the nearby...

Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas; Tillman, Fred; Naftz, David L.; Bills, Donald; Walton-Day, Katie; Gallegos, Tanya J.
Beisner, K.R., Paretti, N.V., Tillman, F.D., Naftz, D.L., Bills, D.J., Walton-Day, K., and Gallegos, T.J., 2017, Geochemistry and hydrology of perched groundwater springs: assessing elevated uranium concentrations at Pigeon Spring relative to nearby Pigeon Mine, Arizona (USA), Hydrogeology Journal, vol. 25, issue 2, p. 539-556.

Year Published: 2016

Element concentrations in surface soils of the Coconino Plateau, Grand Canyon region, Coconino County, Arizona

This report provides the geochemical analyses of a large set of background soils collected from the surface of the Coconino Plateau in northern Arizona. More than 700 soil samples were collected at 46 widespread areas, sampled from sites that appear unaffected by mineralization and (or) anthropogenic contamination. The soils were analyzed for 47...

Van Gosen, Bradley S.
Van Gosen, B.S., 2016, Element concentrations in surface soils of the Coconino Plateau, Grand Canyon region, Coconino County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1160, 9 p. http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161160.

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2010

Hydrological, geological, and biological site characterization of breccia pipe uranium deposits in Northern Arizona

On July 21, 2009, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed a two-year withdrawal of about 1 million acres of Federal land near the Grand Canyon from future mineral entry. These lands are contained in three parcels: two parcels on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land to the north of the Grand Canyon (North and East Segregation Areas) and...

Alpine, Andrea E.
Hydrological, Geological, and Biological Site Characterization of Breccia Pipe Uranium Deposits in Northern Arizona; 2010; SIR; 2010-5025; Alpine, Andrea E., ed.

Year Published: 2008

Ground-Water, Surface-Water, and Water-Chemistry Data, Black Mesa Area, Northeastern Arizona - 2006-07

The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400 square-mile Black Mesa area in northeastern Arizona. Availability of water is an important issue in northeastern Arizona because of continued water requirements for industrial and municipal use and the needs of a growing population. Precipitation in the Black Mesa area is typically about 6 to...

Truini, Margot; Macy, J.P.
Ground-Water, Surface-Water, and Water-Chemistry Data, Black Mesa Area, Northeastern Arizona - 2006-07; 2008; OFR; 2008-1324; Truini, Margot; Macy, J. P.

Year Published: 2008

Use of Superposition Models to Simulate Possible Depletion of Colorado River Water by Ground-Water Withdrawal

According to the 'Law of the River', wells that draw water from the Colorado River by underground pumping need an entitlement for the diversion of water from the Colorado River. Consumptive use can occur through direct diversions of surface water, as well as through withdrawal of water from the river by underground pumping. To develop methods for...

Leake, Stanley A.; Greer, William; Watt, Dennis; Weghorst, Paul
Use of Superposition Models to Simulate Possible Depletion of Colorado River Water by Ground-Water Withdrawal; 2008; SIR; 2008-5189; Leake, Stanley A.; Greer, William; Watt, Dennis; Weghorst, Paul

Year Published: 2007

Ground-Water, Surface-Water, and Water-Chemistry Data, Black Mesa Area, Northeastern Arizona-2005-06

The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400 square-mile Black Mesa area in northeastern Arizona. Availability of water is an important issue in northeastern Arizona because of continued water requirements for industrial and municipal use and the needs of a growing population. Precipitation in the Black Mesa area averages about 6 to 14...

Truini, Margot; Macy, J.P.
Ground-Water, Surface-Water, and Water-Chemistry Data, Black Mesa Area, Northeastern Arizona-2005-06; 2007; OFR; 2007-1041; Truini, Margot; Macy, J.P.

Year Published: 2007

Rapid estimation of recharge potential in ephemeral-stream channels using electromagnetic methods, and measurements of channel and vegetation characteristics

To classify recharge potential (RCP) in ephemeral-stream channels, a method was developed that incorporates information about channel geometry, vegetation characteristics, and bed-sediment apparent electrical conductivity (??a). Recharge potential is not independently measurable, but is instead formulated as a site-specific, qualitative parameter...

Callegary, J.B.; Leenhouts, J.M.; Paretti, N.V.; Jones, C.A.
Rapid estimation of recharge potential in ephemeral-stream channels using electromagnetic methods, and measurements of channel and vegetation characteristics; 2007; Article; Journal; Journal of Hydrology; Callegary, J. B.; Leenhouts, J. M.; Paretti, N. V.; Jones, C. A.

Year Published: 2006

Ground-water, surface-water, and water-chemistry data, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona--2004-05

The N aquifer is the major source of water in the 5,400-square-mile area of Black Mesa in northeastern Arizona. Availability of water is an important issue in this area because of continued industrial and municipal use, a growing population, and precipitation of about 6 to 14 inches per year. The monitoring program in the Black Mesa area has...

Truini, Margot; Macy, J.P.
Ground-water, surface-water, and water-chemistry data, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona--2004-05; 2006; OFR; 2006-1058; Truini, Margot; Macy, J. P.

Year Published: 2006

Electrical resistance sensors record spring flow timing, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Springs along the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, are important ecological and cultural resources in Grand Canyon National Park and are discharge points for regional and local aquifers of the Coconino Plateau. This study evaluated the applicability of electrical resistance (ER) sensors for measuring diffuse, low-stage (<1.0 cm)...

Adams, E.A.; Monroe, S.A.; Springer, A.E.; Blasch, K.W.; Bills, D.J.
Electrical resistance sensors record spring flow timing, Grand Canyon, Arizona; 2006; Article; Journal; Ground Water; Adams, E. A.; Monroe, S. A.; Springer, A. E.; Blasch, K. W.; Bills, D. J.

Year Published: 2005

Lithology and thickness of the Carmel Formation as related to leakage between the D and N aquifers, Black Mesa, Arizona

Truini, Margot; Macy, J.P.
Lithology and thickness of the Carmel Formation as related to leakage between the D and N aquifers, Black Mesa, Arizona; 2005; SIR; 2005-5187; Truini, Margot; Macy, J. P.

Year Published: 2005

Geologic, hydrologic, and chemical data from the C aquifer near Leupp, Arizona

Hoffmann, J.P.; Bills, D.J.; Phillips, J.V.; Halford, K.J.
Geologic, hydrologic, and chemical data from the C aquifer near Leupp, Arizona; 2005; SIR; 2005-5280; Hoffmann, J. P.; Bills, D. J.; Phillips, J. V.; Halford, K. J.

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Digital elevation model created by an Unmanned Aerial System
2017 (approx.)
This digital elevation model was created using structure from motion software mounted to an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to analyze bridge scour. Studies using UAS have included stream temperature analyses, bird and mammal surveys, coastal change mapping, sandbar habitat surveys, fluvial erosion rates, microclimate mapping, air quality analysis, plant stress assessment, and sediment erosion and...
Unmanned Aerial System takes images in Arizona
2017 (approx.)
Small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) collecting digital photos to create digital elevation models. UAS are an increasingly important tool for monitoring, assessing, and conducting targeted scientific research for the nation.
Unmanned Aerial System prior to takeoff
2017 (approx.)
This small unmanned aerial system with digital camera has been used to create digital elevation models to answer questions about erosion, bridge scour, and other hydraulics analyses.
2017 (approx.)
The Arizona Water Science Center details the history and development of the Continuous Slope-Area Method. Learn about the people and events that began these new advances in the field of stream gaging. Music Artist: Glenn Jones, “Bergen County Farewell”. CC License. Music provided by www.FreeMusicArchive.com
July 30, 2017
A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about collaborative studies using conventional physical sciences, combined with tribal elder observations to show that local knowledge and conventional science partnerships can effectively document ecosystem change and determine the resulting challenges to livelihoods. Sparse historic data on tribal...
Photo of seeding experiment to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest.
July 17, 2017
USGS ecologists Molly McCormick (left) and Katie Laushman (right) conducting a seeding experiment that is a part of RAMPS , a new USGS-led initiative to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest. Seedings such as these are common land treatments on BLM lands. An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern...
Satellite images showing landsat 7 and landsat 8 fire images on the western U.S.
2017 (approx.)
On an average day during the fire season, multiple wildfires burn in the western United States. For example, 216 fires were active on July 7, 2017. Firefighters were battling 27 of these fires through ground and air support. A few of the larger fires in early July were in Arizona, Washington, and Utah. As with many wildfires, Landsat plays an important role in monitoring the spread of these fires...
Satellite image showing the Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon area
June 16, 2017
This image of the Las Vegas /Lake Mead / Grand Canyon area was acquired on June 16, 2017, with Indian Space Research Organization’s Resourcesat-2 AWiFS sensor. Images of this region can be useful to help detect changes in vegetation and water availability for growing desert communities.
2017 (approx.)
The Arizona Water Science Center demonstrates new methods in Reach-Scale Monitoring to improve accuracy and measurability of high flow events. By installing pressure transducers and using LiDAR to measure topography data, hydrologists are able to simulate flows with two dimensional models which will help better calibrate stream gages. These advances have potential to aid in gathering important...
2017 (approx.)
Flyover of the southeast Ceti Mensa map. Distinct groups of rock layers, called geologic units, are shaded in different colors, with dark browns representing the oldest rocks and green representing the youngest rocks. All of these rocks formed as wind-blown sand that became trapped in shallow, ephemeral lakes, similar to the wet playas of the desert southwest US. The irregularly-shaped green unit...
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 4, 2017
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by USGS scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Garden s in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.
June 3, 2016
The Arizona Water Science Center discusses the use of a new method, called particle tracking, that will revolutionize the way USGS obtains stream flow data.
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A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: Burning Sagebrush
September 6, 2017

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 23, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

Three-dimensional view of the west Ceti Mensa area looking toward the southeast.
May 12, 2017

A new set of high-resolution geologic maps reveal complex geologic processes that suggest a dynamic, wet environment once existed on early Mars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a map of U.S. states colored based on the value of their mineral industry
April 14, 2017

In 2016, these five states led the pack in mineral production, accounting for about one third of the total mineral production value for the entire country.

Santa Cruz River
March 27, 2017

Desert communities throughout the Southwest are putting water availability at the top of their municipal agendas.

View from Canyonlands Research Center
March 15, 2017

Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Lake Mead
March 15, 2017

The Colorado River system provides about 35 million Americans with a portion of their water supply. It irrigates 5½ million acres of land in the West and provides water to tribes, parks, and wildlife. The system serves parts of seven States and Mexico—but reservoir levels have crept lower over the past several years, sparking questions about how much water remains and who will have access.

Photo of Pigeon Canyon just before it merges with Snake Gulch in northern Arizona. 
January 24, 2017

Uranium levels in Pigeon Spring, just north of the Grand Canyon, are likely due to a natural source of uranium and not related to the nearby former Pigeon Mine, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Photo of a young girl drinking water, which likely originated from groundwater sources. 
January 19, 2017

A regional assessment of untreated groundwater in the Basin and Range basin-fill aquifers, which include parts of Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah and adjacent states, is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.