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Arizona Game & Fish needs help providing water for wildlife

Extreme temperatures and a dry monsoon are leaving Arizona wildlife thirsty.

PHOENIX — Weeks of record-setting excessive heat coupled with very little rain has made this summer brutal.

It’s tough for us but it’s even tougher on Arizona’s wildlife that depends on natural sources of water that are running low.       

Arizona Game and Fish is working hard to get water out to the wild desert critters that need it the most.

“As soon as this record temp stint has been going, it has ramped up and we have been having to do quite a bit of water hauling,” said Joe Currie, AZGFD's Habitat Planning Program Manager.

Even delivering water by air to the most remote parts of Arizona. There are about 3,000 of these “catchmets” that store water for wildlife to drink from.

Game and Fish is delivering water using four tankers and a helicopter - which can get expensive.

“To use the chopper for one catchment and to haul 2,000 gallons it costs $10,000,” said Currie.

To help offset the rising costs, Game and Fish has a campaign called Send Water where the public can donate to help the wildlife.

Arizona would look dramatically different if the animals couldn’t get water relief.

“A whole lot less wildlife out there if you were going birding or you were going out there hunting or even wildlife watching,” said Currie.

More wildlife could even move from the forest to the backyards.

“They even had bighorn sheep come in and drink from people’s pools in their backyard and mule deer and everything,” said Currie.

The more this monsoon turns into a non-soon the more dire the need.

“The hotter and dryer it gets the worse it gonna be for us to keep up,” said Currie.

If you would like to help - text “SENDWATER” to 41444 or visit the Send Water website.