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Esperanza’s World – Arizona Geography Center – Rivers

Esperanza’s World – Arizona Geography Center – Rivers




Activities / Teacher Resources

AZ Rivers, Streams, Washes, Watersheds and Topography

A wash is a dry river, stream, creek bed or gulch that temporarily fills with or flows with water after heavy seasonal rains.  In Spanish a wash is called an arroyo.

Topography is the graphic representation on a map of the surface features of a place or region; included are the relative positions of mountains, valleys, plains, bodies of water and elevations.

A watershed is an area or region (bounded by high elevation points) drained by a river, river system, or other body of water.  Each watershed has its own network of river and stream channels that drain water from and through a particular basin.

Watershed Report Guidelines

Bill Williams River

Bill Williams River

~Include the following types of information in your report:

  • Visuals of flora and fauna native to the watershed; fish and fowl are native to the area
  • Smaller tributaries (creeks, and/or lakes not included in the principal tributaries labeled on the map)
  • Data about the principal bodies of water in the watershed (i.e. length and width of the rivers, etc.)
  • Cities and/or towns located within the watershed
  • Significant landforms – natural and manmade (i.e. mountains, buttes, valleys, dams, etc.) in the region
  • History of the watershed region (i.e. Who was Bill Williams and why did he have a river named after him? Is an Indian Reservation within the boundaries of the watershed? What early peoples settled in the region?  Did any big historical events happen near the main tributaries?)
  • Environmental health of the watershed (i.e. Is the river polluted?  Is it filled to capacity?  What efforts are being made to protect water resources in the watershed region?)
  • Recreational activities within the watershed (i.e. Is boating, fishing, swimming and camping allowed?  Is it part of a state or national park? Is it in a protected wilderness area?)
  • Visuals of the principal rivers (and other bodies of water) and scenic vistas within the watershed

~Report Requirements

  • Typed one page of text or hand written two pages of text (minimum)
  • Cover page with name of watershed, visuals and student name
  • Appendix with labeled additional visuals
  • Self-assessed using the writing process (prewriting, draft, revise, edit, and final copy)
  • Pages numbered
  • Works Cited page (Internet sources, book sources, multimedia sources)