Water supply remains a concern for counties across the state. A recent grant for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) is increasing conservation efforts in Cochise County to ensure water continues to flow in the San Pedro River.

Every basin in the state has different water issues Sierra Vista City Manager Chuck Potucek acknowledged.

He noted there isn’t a water shortage in the city, like in other parts of the state.

“Ours is an issue of protecting the river from the spread of that cone of depression, the city manager said.

According to the Cochise Conservation & Recharge Newtwork website, “A cone of depression can initially reduce streamflow by intercepting groundwater that is flowing toward the river.”

As people use the groundwater, and if there isnt sufficient rainfall to replace it, then the cone spreads,” Potucek explained. “Its predicted to spread and then intercept the water flows that go to the river from the mountains.”

He emphasized conservation efforts and protecting the river is a priority for the city, Fort Huahuca, the county and other local and federal agencies because they want the river to continue flowing, and the protected land provides space for the missions on Fort Huachuca.

All of the various scientific studies that have been done here have led us to conclude near stream recharge of effluent and storm water is the most effective way in the short term to help flows in the river, Potucek added.

For Ron Stewart, president of the Friends of the San Pedro River, the San Pedro is more than a river. He believes the river serves as a home to animals, plants and is something locals and visitors come to see.

Without the water, you dont have any of this, Stewart said. The reason those trees are standing there and all those 350 species of birds come here and those 83 species of mammals and so forth. The only reason they are here is because of the water.

Potucek says the plan is to recharge water from local basins and aquifers to have water released into the river.

RELATED: How Cochise County is using grant money to protect the San Pedro River