Photo Credit: Wikimedia/katsrcool
The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) will soon deliver nearly 3 million gallons of life-saving water to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents — herds of elk, bighorn sheep, bison, and other animals — as already severe drought conditions intensify.
The department plans to carry the unprecedented amount of water this year to 3,000 water catchment sites, or man-made watering holes that can hold between 750 gallons to 25,000 gallons, depending on wildlife needs. This distribution is up from the record-breaking 2.4 million gallons supplied last year.
Joseph Currie, who oversees the water-catchment efforts, told the Arizona Daily Star that the department has four water trucks with 1,700-gallon tanks for the operations.
“We’ve been using them almost every day of the week, every week, for the last year,” Currie said. “We anticipate having to haul more water this year than we ever have before.”
The effort is huge, and so is its price tag. It costs nearly $1 million to deliver water to the catchments every year, with some of the most remote areas requiring helicopters to reach.
But the endeavor also is critically important. Droughts cause animals’ food and water supplies to shrink […]