Who We Are


Who We Are

We have merged with one of our partnering organizations, Friends of Verde River Greenway as of January 1st, 2017. Please read more about the merger and how the two organizations envision a better future together by clicking here.

The future of Verde River system and our communites drive the Verde River Basin Partnership.

Middle Verde, Photo by Doug Von Gausig

What We Do

The Verde River Basin Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization comprised of individual and entity members who share a common goal. This goal is to support and preserve the long-term health of the Verde River and its watershed.

Our Mission and Vision

Our mission:

The Partnership is a scientific and educational resource raising awareness among citizens and community leaders about the workings and limitations of Verde River Basin’s interconnected groundwater and surface water systems, and the life they support.

Our vision:

The Partnership aims to secure the long-term health of Verde River Basin’s groundwater and surface waters, by assisting citizens and community leaders in exploring strategies and management practices that will sustain the Verde River system for all future generations.

To achieve our mission and work toward our vision, we:

  • Bring together partners that have a regional stake in the Verde River Basin for meaning conversations and educational experiences.
  • Produce and distribute free factual, science-based educational materials at various levels of detail ranging from simple FAQ sheets to an in-depth Primer on Water Resources (which is essentially an introductory book).
  • Promote scientific studies produced by other organizations that are germane to our regional water issues.
  • Outreach to the community by hosting presentations and field trips, exhibiting at local events, as well as offering an open-door policy for attendance at our meetings and conferring with our members.

To learn more about how we implement our mission and plan to achieve our vision, read our Strategic Roadmap.

Why We Do It

The Verde River – A Desert Treasure at Risk

A flowing river in the desert is a unique and valuable treasure – to people, wildlife, and ecosystems. The Verde River is one of the only remaining perennial (year-round) rivers in Arizona. Currently, the Verde flows 137 miles from its headwaters in the Big Chino Basin to Horseshoe Reservoir.

The Verde River has been identified by American Rivers as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers. The river is threatened by groundwater depletion and inefficient irrigation diversion and delivery of diverted river water.

To understand how culturally and naturally unique the Verde is, please learn more on our Verde River webpage.

The Basin

As you probably know by now, the Partnership’s goals are not exclusive to the Verde River itself. We are not the Verde River Partnership; we are the Verde River BASIN Partnership.

Why? There are many reasons. One is that without the surrounding drainage basin – or watershed – we wouldn’t have a Verde River. It is the groundwater of the Verde River Basin that sustains the year-round flow of Verde River, and the Verde River’s tributaries – like Oak Creek and the East Verde River – that augment flow throughout the river’s course. The other reason is there are valuable and unique qualities of other water features throughout the watershed, including tributaries, as well as springs, seeps, and groundwater that sustain communities, ecosystems, and many cultural and natural treasures.

It is important to know that the Partnership is concerned with issues in the ENTIRE watershed.

Consider what John Wesley Powell, the famous scientist, explorer, and geographer once said. He said that a watershed is,

“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

Prickly Pear, Photo by Doug Von Gausig

Prickly Pear, Photo by Doug Von Gausig


Why It Is Important

The Verde River Basin’s surface water resources are critically connected to its groundwater supplies, local economies, citizen quality of life, and private property values. Surface waters are also a visual reminder of the condition of groundwater supplies that the eye cannot see.

Besides providing surface and groundwater supplies to about 150,000 Verde River Basin residents, wildlife, riparian habitat, our national forests as well as extensive State, County and Municipal lands, the Verde River Basin contributes directly to the water delivered to more than 2.7 million people in the Phoenix area.

In an Arizona Republic Article (December 2003), Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) Director Herb Guenther asked and answered: “Will there be an overdraft situation in the Verde River Basin if we continue the way we are? YES.”

Doubtless, all communities within the Verde Basin agree that overdraft, which is drawing more water from surface waters or groundwater than nature can replenish, will inevitably diminish both the economy and the lifestyle of the Verde River Basin.

Where We Came From

Our History

The Verde River Basin Partnership (Partnership) was created by federal legislation under Title II of Public Law No. 109-110, the Northern Arizona Land Exchange, and the Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005.

Specifying hydrologic analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the legislation mandated the identification of water resources within the Verde River Basin and an analysis of the potential long-term consequences of various water-use scenarios on groundwater levels and Verde River flows.

The creation of the Partnership documented Congress’s recognition that, in the face of a burgeoning population and the potential impact of a warmer and drier climate in the southwestern United States, the water resources of the Verde River Basin are threatened as never before. It also documents Congress’s recognition of the importance of critical new scientific work to guide water-management decisions in the Verde River Basin.

The Partnership became a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in March of 2011. Read about our Board of Directors or send an email to our staff for more information about us or to connect with us.

What we cannot lose sight of…

We also know that all regional issues can be similar to those in other areas and can be part of larger issues, beyond the Verde River Basin. We will share our knowledge with those nationally and globally for a better world.

Learn More about the Verde River Basin Partnership

Autumn Oak Creek, Photo by Garrett Dauphars

Autumn Oak Creek, Photo by Garrett Dauphars

Our Publications

One of our most important objectives is to provide quality educational resources to the community. To achieve that, we have produced many informational materials, ranging in level of detail from brief Guiding Principles to an in-depth Water-Resource Primer (an introductory book).

Please click here to visit Our Publications page and find what interests you.

Our Board of Directors

To learn about the people behind the scenes, please click here to visit Our Board of Directors page.


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