Water. A key compound that makes life on earth possible. With record heat and limited monsoonal moisture, many western states are scrambling to provide water for wildlife. Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have recently started the Send Water campaign.
Wildlife officials maintain over 3,000 water catchments and man-made tanks in Arizona. The cost of hauling in water is around $1 million annually. The funding is also used to perform repairs and build new water sources. For readers that are interested in donating, visit SendWater.org OR text SendWater to 41444.
The Send Water Process
Sending water to some of the most remote parts of Arizona is no easy task. However, with a dedicated team of members, trucks, and even helicopters, the SendWater team delivers over 1.5 million gallons of water a year. Consequently, with so many moving parts, the process isn’t cheap. One helicopter water delivery can cost thousands of dollars. Likewise, trucks need to be maintained and fueled.
With zero general tax funding, AZGFD and SendWater depend on donations from conservationists for funding. Subsequently, some of this funding goes towards new water trailers, catchment repairs, and Helicopter maintenance. Above all, SendWater would like to ask everyone, not just hunters, to donate to help save Arizona’s wildlife.
“As long as this record temp stint has been going, it has ramped up and we have been having to do quite a bit of water hauling. To use the chopper for one catchment and to haul 2,000 gallons it costs $10,000. [There will be] A whole lot less wildlife out there if you were going birding or if you were going out there hunting or even wildlife watching. They even had bighorn sheep come in and drink from people’s pools in their backyard, and mule deer, and everything. The hotter and dryer it gets the worse it gonna be for us to keep up.” – Joe Currie, AZGFD’s Habitat Planning Program Manager
As more and more states face the ongoing drought in the west, water is going to become a critical part of life for wildlife and people alike.