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Water Issues In Depth

Use Story Maps to explore many important water-related topics. With maps, data, multimedia content and interpretive information, we guide you through the topic.

Or, you may want to use one of our interactive applications (Apps) to dive deeper into a specific topic, like groundwater level changes in Arizona. We’ve combined reams of data on one topic and made it accessible all in one place.

Story Map Gallery


aerial view of Colorado River

Colorado River Shortage: What it Means and What's Next

This Story Map aims to help you understand and explain the Colorado River shortage. It examines the Colorado River shortage and what it means for water conservation, residential water users, groundwater pumping, utility costs, urban growth, new water supplies, and water rights.

River and cactus in mountainous desert scene

Arizona’s Most Precious Resource: Arizona's Water Story

The story of Arizona's water - where it comes from and how it's used - may be on your mind if you live in this unique ecosystem. With a growing population of more than 7 million people, the importance of our water stewardship grows with us.

Waterfall Trail on Fossil Creek

Big Picture: Health and Function of Arizona Watersheds

This Story Map connects our water supply to the landscapes we depend on, both natural and built environments. It drills down into the complex relationships between land and water by examining forest health, wildfires, climate change, and our state's amazing biodiversity.

Truck and well drilling equipment in desert landscape

Rural Water in Arizona

Outside of Arizona's Active Management Areas and Irrigation Non-Expansion Areas, there is virtually no regulation of groundwater and no metering requirement. A landowner may drill a well and withdraw any amount of water for any beneficial use.

Water tower in Gilbert, AZ

Water Augmentation Concepts

Proposals and projects that aim to augment water supplies in Arizona.

river running through desert landscape

Arizona’s Stream Adjudications: Getting To Water Certainty

Certainty about water resources drives economic development and enables sustainable water management. Until claims in the Adjudications are resolved, Arizona will not have the water certainty it needs to plan for the future.

Topic-Focused Apps


Screenshot of the groundwater level change app

Explore Groundwater Level Changes in Arizona Sub-Basins

The Kyl Center for Water Policy developed the Groundwater Level Change Map to show groundwater level changes across the state's sub-basins for 1-year (2017-18), 10-year (2008-18), and 20-year (1998-2018) time periods.

Factors to consider when thinking about the health of a basin include geology, depth to water, land subsidence, and depth to bedrock.

Groundwater Level Change Map

Screenshot of Central Arizona Entitlements and Access Tool

Colorado River Shortage: Entitlements and Access

Most of the pain of Colorado River shortages will fall on those who are using the water, rather than on those who are entitled to it. Understanding this nuance may help water managers discover additional, innovative ways to lease, trade, and exchange water to mitigate shortage impacts.

The Central Arizona Access and Entitlements Map visualizes contract entitlements to Colorado River water and also takes into account long-term leases and exchanges, showing who has access to that water.

Being clear about those entitled to water and those who actually have access to use it can help water policy leaders better frame complex Colorado River shortage issues, which will aid the general public's understanding of how their communities might be impacted.

Colorado River Access and Entitlements Map