What is it that serves as your truth and guides your way through life?
Everything we do is influenced by a set of guiding principles that define our character and culture. We’d like to share some of our principles with you.
The Verde River Guiding Principles highlight how from early Native American cultures to the present day, the Verde River system has been integral in the regional culture, economy, and environment. As stated in the Principles, the surface and groundwater of the Verde River watershed have been identified as a finite natural resource and the watershed is considered by many to be a national treasure.
1. Water makes Earth habitable; fresh water, a finite resource, is essential for all life on land.
2. The Verde River and its tributaries, seeps, and springs, are interconnected – to each other, to the Colorado River system, and ultimately to the ocean via the Sea of Cortez.
3. Groundwater and surface water are interconnected and affect each other; groundwater depletion ultimately depletes surface flows and surface water depletion can potentially impact groundwater recharge.
4. Climate and drought have an impact on the Verde River, including the amount of water available for riparian habitat, wildlife, and human use.
5. The Verde River and its perennial tributaries support a broad diversity of life and ecosystems and provide a rare and important corridor for migrating species.
6. The Verde River is one of the last perennial river systems in Arizona and has the state’s longest stretch of continuous interconnected riparian habitat. The value of the riparian habitat and flows are beyond calculation and must be protected.
7. The Verde River system is a regional, state, and national treasure. The river and humans within its watershed are inextricably interconnected. The river is socially, economically, environmentally, and culturally important.
8. The Verde River system is a national asset. More than two-thirds of its watershed is managed by federal agencies on behalf of the American public.
9. Research to date provides a basic understanding of the Verde River system, yet more remains to be learned, and unbiased science is crucial to water and growth policy and decision making. Providing the public with scientific information about the Verde River system gives them a stronger voice in the decision-making process.
10. Collaborative decision-making amongst all stakeholders is crucial to protecting the interests of all who depend on the Verde River.
A number of non-profit organizations, local businesses, water managers, as well as federal, state and local agencies have invested in the scientific understanding and protection of the Verde River. The Verde River Basin Partnership organizes research, outreach, and talent among these people.
Together, we agree on these ten basic Verde River Guiding Principles to guide our outreach, education, decision making, and to improve the lifestyles of our fellow citizens throughout the region.