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Commentary: Balancing our water budget

With California reeling from damaging water shortages in the Central Valley and more than a decade of drought in the arid Southwest, it's a good time to think about our budgets - not only financial accounts, but "water budgets." A water budget is simply an accounting of water resources, the amount entering and leaving, and stored in, a drainage basin (watershed) or aquifer. Water budget estimates can provide holistic views of water resources for an area like the Verde River and its tributaries, a remarkable aquatic habitat and riparian gem in Arizona.