Arizona Water Awareness


Seasonal Tips:
    Summer in the high elevation climate zone is mild, however, there can be killing frosts as late as mid-June.

    Click on the TIPS and RESOURCES TABS for more information about Irrigation and Plant Watering.

  • Adjust irrigation and watering schedule for summer temperatures.

  • Collect monsoon rainwater from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts, and direct rainwater to your plants.

  • Water your plants early in the morning to reduce evaporation.

  • If you use an evaporative cooler, reduce the flow of bleed-off water discharged, and use it for irrigation for plants that are not sensitive to the salts.

  • Turn off automatic watering systems when it rains, or install a rain sensor or smart controller to do this automatically.

  • Keep a thin layer of mulch around plants to reduce water evaporation and control weeds.

  • Protect your home from wildfires (which are more common during drought) by making sure that any plants located near the house are more widely-spaced and lower-growing than those farther away.

  • Check irrigation timer clocks to be sure lightning storms haven't disrupted the programming. Now is a good time to replace batteries since fresh batteries will be more likely to maintain your programming even with a few electrical disruptions.

  • fall
    Fall in the high elevation climate zone is cool, with temperatures dropping by October when the first frosts may occur.

  • Adjust irrigation and watering schedule when the temperatures cool, usually in September.

  • Turn off automatic watering systems when it rains, or install a rain sensor to do this automatically.

  • Mulch to protect plants from frost.

  • Winterize plumbing to keep pipes from bursting (typically 20 degrees F. or below).

  • winter
    Winter in the high elevation climate zone is cold to extremely cold, with snow, frozen soils and drying winds. The last killing frost can be as late as mid-June.

  • Adjust irrigation and watering schedule for winter temperatures and shorter days.

  • Turn off automatic watering systems when it rains, or install a rain sensor to do this automatically.

  • To protect your plumbing, wrap any exposed pipes with insulation and disconnect and drain your garden hoses. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut off the main water valve immediately.

  • spring
    Spring in the high elevation climate zone is cool, with frosts normal through April, and sometimes occurring as late as mid-June.

  • Adjust irrigation and watering schedule for warmer temperatures and plant growth, if there is little or no precipitation. One to three inches of snow is not enough to keep the soil moist.

  • Remove most of the mulch applied in the previous fall so that light and air can reach the soil. Leave a thin layer to protect plants from the drying spring winds.

  • Turn off sprinklers and postpone watering on windy days to reduce evaporation loss.

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My Town’s Water Planning Area
My town is in the Central Highlands planning area. Although aquifers here are small and drought sensitive, municipal water demand is met mostly by groundwater. Approximately half of the total water used is for agriculture irrigation supplied by both surface water and groundwater. This area contains most of the perennial streams in Arizona, including the Gila, Verde, Salt and Aqua Fria rivers.

Large community water systems in this area include:
Arizona Water Co. - Miami - Claypool - Sedona
Big Park Water Co.,Sedona
Camp Verde Water System
City of Globe
Clarkdale Municipal Water System
Cordes Lakes Water Co.
Cottonwood Municipal Water
Town of Payson
Town of Wickenburg

My Town's Climate Zone:
My town is in the High Elevation Climate Zone. This zone consists of cool plateau highlands from 4,000 - 6,000 feet and cold mountains from 6,000 - 8,000 feet. This zone is semi-arid to arid, but the highest elevations may receive up to 30 inches of precipitation annually.
Climate Zone Map
More Info:
Gila County Cooperative Extension Office
The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension offices translate research-based information to help people solve real, everyday problems and improve the quality of life. Several programs address water use, landscaping and gardening.

Map of Arizona's Groundwater Basins - See page 14 for a color map of Arizona's counties and 51 groundwater basins.

Arizona Drought Reports - See monthly and quarterly updates about Arizona's drought status.

Future Water Demand and Supplies - Learn about your groundwater basin's current and potential future water supplies.

Aquifer Groundwater Levels - Use the Groundwater Inventory (GWSI) to find the water levels of wells within Arizona's groundwater basins.

Surf Your Watershed - Find your watershed and organizations that are working to protect water quality.

Return to
List of cities in each planning area
Climate zone and seasonal tips