Bella Vista / Coyote Wash Urban Enhanced Runoff Recharge Project

The Bella Vista / Coyote Wash Urban Enhanced Runoff Recharge Project is located on the west side of the San Pedro River and is managed by Cochise County. A conservation easement on the 2,984-acre parcel is held by The Nature Conservancy and conserves an estimated 238 acre-feet/year of groundwater that will not be pumped due to precluded development. This acreage also buffers the south-border of Fort Huachuca’s East Range from additional development. The goal of the project is to raise groundwater levels in a critical area that both supports river base flows and protects the river from municipal groundwater pumping centers. The facility will be designed to recharge between 150 and 600 acre-feet/year of urban enhanced runoff that flushes-off Sierra Vista’s hard surfaces, located just upstream of the site. Yet the actual volume of recharge will be dependent on the amount of rainfall each year. Project studies were conducted 2015-2017, with planning and design work in 2018-2019. Construction is anticipated in 2020. Groundwater and surface water monitoring began in 2016 and is ongoing.

During storm events, urban enhanced runoff (UER) flows through Coyote Wash on the Bella Vista property (photo credit Brooke Bushman)

Drilling boreholes on Bella Vista led to the identification of the ideal recharge site on Coyote Wash (photo credit Brooke Bushman)

Surveying the selected recharge site in Coyote Wash on the Bella Vista property (photo credit Brooke Bushman)

Purpose

The purpose of the Cochise Conservation and Recharge Network (CCRN) is to implement a regional network of water-management projects that meet the long-term needs of the Sierra Vista Subwatershed.

Vision

The vision of the CCRN is a flowing San Pedro River, the conservation of water resources, and a vibrant local economy.

Member Organizations

The CCRN was formed in 2015, and includes Cochise County, the City of Sierra Vista, The Nature Conservancy, Hereford Natural Resources Conservation District, and the City of Bisbee.