Let the Rivers Do the Talking – An AZ WRAN Volunteer Highlight

“I'm a big believer in letting the rivers do the talking. Our role is just to tell folks what to listen and to look for.” – Dr. Tim Flood

Concerns over Arizona’s water resources are nothing new to Tim Flood.  In the late 1980’s, he worked to improve the quality of Arizona’s drinking water which, at the time, was posing significant health risks due to chemical contaminants entering our groundwater.  In this role, and as a naturalist and birder, it was impossible for him to ignore the connections between Arizona’s water quality and quantity and the health of our rivers, habitats, wildlife, people, and communities.

Tim Flood - Cox Conserves Heroes Finalist 2016

Of Arizona’s many rivers, the Agua Fria may be closest to his heart - and it also might be the one that owes him the most. 

Beginning in the Prescott Valley, the Agua Fria travels 120 miles south, often underground, to its eventual confluence with the Gila. It supports countless breeding, resident, and migratory birds including the western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, provides refuge for native fish like the Gila topminnow, allows for ranching, agricultural, and recreation, and keeps about 400,000 Phoenix residents’ glasses full by filling the impoundment known as Lake Pleasant.  The far-reaching importance of the Agua Fria likely comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with Arizona’s rivers. The threats it faces are also all too common – drought, over-allocation, dams, and unsustainable management have, along many reaches, changed the river’s character and significantly affected its health.

Tim works tirelessly to protect the Agua Fria.

He works with Sonoran Audubon Society volunteers to survey for western Yellow-billed Cuckoos and coordinates annual wet-dry mapping of the river with the Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument. In addition, by calling attention to WRAN action alerts, news, and more, he broadcasts WRAN’s voice in his position as Co-Chair of the Arizona Riparian Council’s Conservation Committee. Through it all, Tim’s focus is always on “helping [people] appreciate how beautiful and important rivers are in Arizona.”  He understands that he can make the biggest impact not by working on his own, but by engaging others in his efforts.

We at the Western Rivers Action Network share this conviction.  We know that everyone has a role to play as we work towards a stable and vibrant water future for Arizona. This is why we focus on making our WRAN members the strongest advocates they can be.  It’s why we offer education opportunities like our upcoming WRAN webinars, we update members on latest water news,  we facilitate engagement in ongoing water planning and policy discussions, and we broadcast meaningful ways to take action.

Our sincerest thanks goes out to Tim Flood, all of our WRAN volunteers, and our over 14,000 Arizona WRAN members.  We’re all in this together.

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