Arizona Game and Fishing hauling record amounts of water to drought-stricken wildlife

Normally, the program would take a break, but last year and this year, they have had to haul water year-round
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:04 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:06 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - During droughts, like the one the West has been in for years, it can be hard for animals to quench their thirst.

Arizona Game and Fish, along with other partners, is bringing more water to wildlife than ever before.

While some showers fell on Madera Canyon Thursday, but wildlife in the area rely on volunteers like James “Spud” Hester with Arizona Game and Fish to bring water.

“Each year it gets a little worse, and a little worse and a little worse,” Hester said.

He’s helping to haul about a thousand gallons to replenish a catchment at the base of Madera Canyon, so thirsty wildlife can take a drink.

With the turn of knob, this life-giving water rushes in. Providing this water is one of the most important ventures Arizona Game and Fish has, according to Hester.

“This is going to become even more critical every year from now on,” he said. “If we don’t get the rain, either we do this or the animals will die. It’s as simple as that. Cattle in this country won’t exist.”

State-wide, Arizona Game and Fish will haul about 3 million gallons to catchments — more than half a million more gallons than last year. The Tucson sector already pouring out about 40 percent of what they did last year, with much more expected to come.

“It’s a very serious situation,” said Mark Hart, Arizona Game and Fish Tucson. “Wildlife gets stressed too, but we can go to the faucet.”

Normally, the program would take a break, but last year and this year, they have had to haul water year-round. Arizona Game and Fish asks you to contact them before hauling any water yourself.

This program is partially run by donations—if you’d like to donate, by going HERE.

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