As many of you know, Agua Caliente Park is experiencing the full force of the extended drought and change in the water table level.
There were originally two springs at Agua Caliente, one a “Hot Spring” and the other a “Cold Spring”. The two springs produced a water flow of up to 500 gallons per minute.
Agua Caliente’s springs were blasted in the mid-1930’s reducing the water flow to 150 – 300 gallons per minute. The spring was again blasted in the early 1960’s which cut the water flow down to 100 to 125 gallons per minute!
During Tucson’s drought of 2003-4, the water flow from Agua Caliente’s spring fell as low as 14 gallons per minute. Pima County Parks and Recreation put in a supplemental well. Arizona Department of Water Resources limits the water withdrawal to 55,000 gallons of supplemental well water for the pond each day.
The exposed mud at the park is due to increasing natural sedimentation in the pond, declining spring flow from the ongoing drought, and insufficient recharge from rainfall.
Pima County is working to stabilize Agua Caliente’s pond system and minimized ecological impacts to the system.
Evaporation from the pond surface and transpiration from the cattails and palm trees growing around Agua Caliente’s pond contribute to extra water loss.
Analysis is ongoing for the framework for the long-term actions to address the low water conditions at Agua Caliente.
Over the years, the water holding capacity of the pond has changed. Renovations will need installation of some type of liner system. Contouring the pond is a main focus for long-term stability.
RECENT HEAVY RAINS !! Sept 2013
This is a complex issue that needs the public’s understanding and acceptance as Tucson gives new life to the aging historical pond.
Pima County hopes to include improvements to Agua Caliente Park in the next bond election.
For more interesting information about Agua Caliente in Tucson see the links below: