News and Recent Publications

Sweetwater Center co-founders Nancy Ferguson and Tom Orum appeared on ASU’s public TV news program November 30th. They have found alarmingly few young saguaro cacti for the past 25 years during their annual surveys in Saguaro National Park East. Climate change is thought to make survival more difficult for the next generation of these iconic giants. The news program also covers U of A researchers using tree rings to study Southwest drought; the saguaro segment starts at 14:30. The Arizona Daily Star picked up the story for print.

The sources, variations in quality, and estimated future supplies of water in Cascabel are described in a recent academic paper by resident hydrologist Dr. Chris Eastoe and long-time resident, potter, and citizen scientist Barbara Clark. The researchers found two main sources of water, one flowing from ancient hot springs and another containing enough iron and sulfur to make it undrinkable. Our area has had severe droughts in the past; the authors suggest a repeat could threaten our water supply.
Email us at the address in the footer and Chris will send a pdf for research or education.

Tom Orum and Nancy Ferguson’s long-term saguaro study is featured on the Arizona Sonora News Service. The Sweetwater Center founders and board members have monitored the charismatic megaflora for nearly 40 years. Journalist Ava Garcia writes that the couple celebrates each discovery of a new young saguaro with a milkshake–which amounted to dozens of the sweet treats per year in the 1980s. Nancy and Tom published findings from the 75-year long study in 2016.

Tinker, inventor, and gadget guru David Parsons installed a weather station at El Potrero. You can check the weather in our world here on our home page and on Wunderground. David’s El Potrero station is nearer the river and lower than the Cascabel Wunderground station. Cold air drainage at El Potrero briefly pushes the temperature lower than surrounding areas in early morning.