Havasu Creek Watershed Scoping Project

havasu falls

The Havasu Creek Watershed is a geographically and socially diverse region with complex land ownership patterns and overlapping management jurisdictions covering 2966 square miles. While the Havasupai Tribe controls only 8.18% of the land, actions on the entire watershed affect their communities, including the village of Supai where over 500 Havasupai people live.

Over the last 100 years, more than 16 major floods have disrupted the community of Supai, adjacent campground, and boaters in the Grand Canyon. Although efforts have been made to decrease the impacts of flooding, the watershed lacks a strategic plan of action. Following the August 2008 flood, a group of stakeholders met at the Havasu Hazard Mitigation Conference to develop a consensus around an action plan for high-priority prevention and mitigation measures.

With a grant from the Arizona Water Institute and assistance from the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the Landsward Insitute initiated the Havasu Creek Watershed Scoping Project following the conference. This project encouraged continued stakeholder engagement, documented actions taken to date, provided a bibliographic matrix of information on the watershed, and summarized findings in a final report.

Because all actions in the watershed have potential consequences for the Havasupai Tribe, we recommend that the Tribal Council provide resolutions on items they would like to occur and a list of priorities. This will ensure that work in the watershed is consistent with the needs and desires of the Tribe and encourages other stakeholders to offer appropriate assistance.

The outcomes of this project include:

1) Assisted stakeholders in continuing collaborations and communication;
2) Initiated a working relationship between NAU and the Havasupai Tribe;
3) Compiled information and recommendations that can be used to develop and seek funds for projects in the watershed; and
4) Increased local capacity for watershed monitoring and flood response.

Click here to view the final report

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Landsward Institute
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 5845
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5845
Applied Research and Development Bld., #56
Suite 130
Phone (928) 523-0716
Fax (928) 523-0717

Karan English, Director
Phone: (928) 523-0670
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Patty West
Program Coordinator
Phone: (928) 523-0736

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