San Pedro River | Photo by Steve Prager
San Pedro River | Photo by Steve Prager

#8 San Pedro River, AZ

Threat: Unregulated groundwater pumping, poorly planned development

The Biden administration must strengthen Clean Water Act protections to prevent the San Pedro River from drying up any further.

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San Pedro River | Photo by Jennifer Dunaway

Arizona’s San Pedro River supports one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in North America and is one of the last, major free-flowing rivers in the desert Southwest. However, excessive groundwater pumping is causing stretches of the San Pedro to dry up— a problem exacerbated by poorly planned development that withdraws too much of the river’s limited water. Additionally, rollbacks to the Clean Water Act initiated during the Trump administration have removed protections for seasonal and intermittent streams, which encompass almost 94 percent of the San Pedro River’s waterways and provide the lifeblood that sustains the river. In order to protect the San Pedro, the Arizona legislators must pass laws to protect groundwater supplies and the Biden administration must strengthen Clean Water Act protections.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • Earthjustice
  • Audubon Arizona
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