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City of Phoenix Reinvests to Protect Water SuppliesCity of Phoenix Reinvests to Protect Water Supplies<div class="ExternalClassA3F0C12BD639419B8DC070DDFD0D8269"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;"><p>Today, the Phoenix City Council approved a three-year agreement with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to aide in the ongoing protection of Phoenix's water supply, and the health of Salt and Verde Rivers watersheds.</p><p>Through this innovative partnership, originating in 2015, the City of Phoenix will continue to invest $200,000 annually in the Northern Arizona Forest Fund (NAFF). The NAFF is a program developed by the NFF and the Salt River Project (SRP) that improves forest health and water quality in the Salt and Verde River watersheds. Phoenix was the first municipality to partner with the NFF on this effort.</p><p>"We must continue to protect and preserve the watersheds that our city and the surrounding metropolitan area rely upon," said Phoenix Mayor Thelda Williams. "The continuation of this partnership with the National Forest Foundation is a sensible and smart approach for the City of Phoenix." </p><p>The National Forests in northern Arizona provide most of the water to the Salt and Verde Rivers, which are vital surface water supplies to downstream users in the greater Phoenix metropolitan areas. The City of Phoenix obtains roughly one-half of its raw water supply from these watersheds. Past forest management practices have created conditions that challenge the health of Arizona's forests and the sustainability and quality of the state's water supplies.</p><p>As the congressionally-chartered nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, the NFF is uniquely positioned to implement projects across the Salt and Verde Watersheds that reduce erosion and sedimentation, restore wetlands, meadows and springs, and reduce fire risk. The City of Phoenix participates in funding these projects to improve watershed health and support the delivery of clean, reliable water supplies.</p><p>"We are thrilled that the City of Phoenix is continuing to support the Northern Arizona Forest Fund and its measurable on-the-ground accomplishments, demonstrating its foresight and commitment to protecting the water resources we all depend upon," said Rebecca Davidson, NFF's Director of the Southern Rockies Field Program.</p><p>For over three years, the Northern Arizona Forest Fund has actively improved the City of Phoenix's watersheds. Prescribed burns, forest thinning, trail/road improvement, and spring/wetland/meadow restoration projects in the Apache-Sitgreaves, Tonto, Kaibab, Coconino and Prescott National Forests have collectively produced positive water quality impacts since 2015. Highlights include:</p><ul style="list-style-type:disc;"><li>21 restoration projects</li><li>Over 11,000 acres of fuels reduction projects</li><li>Over 2,500 acres of stream, spring and wetland protection</li><li>Over 130 miles of erosion control and drainage improvements</li><li>Over 4,000 native trees and shrubs planted</li></ul><p>This year, the NAFF is completing six watershed protection projects within the Salt and Verde watersheds, which will be funded in part by the City of Phoenix.<br></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><br></p></div>6/6/2018 10:30:00 PMStephanie Bracken602.534.1209