Photos: Agriculture in Dome Valley, Arizona

This page features photos of agriculture in the Dome Valley near Yuma, Arizona.

Located in southwestern Arizona’s Yuma County, the Dome Valley is known for its winter lettuce and kale crops. Lying just east of the confluence of the Colorado River and Gila River, the valley is extremely dry but it has been made fertile by Colorado River water delivered via the Gila Canal.

The canal is part of the Gila Project, which is an interconnected system of water diversions created to disperse Colorado River water. In modern times, the once perennial Gila has been reduced to an ephemeral and mostly dry riverbed in stretches.

In 2019, the advocacy group American Rivers deemed the Gila River as America’s most endangered river. Like much of the American Southwest, Yuma and nearby counties are struggling with severe, continued drought. As a result, the nearby Gila River has been contributing little to the Dome Valley’s irrigation.

Learn more:

Brandon Loomis, “In Pinal County, Colorado River shortage is forcing growers to plant fewer acres,” AZ Central, January 3, 2022.

Emma VandenEinde, “Central Arizona farmer struggles to grow crops with less water,” KUNC, December 27, 2021.

Jim Robbins, “Once a rich desert river, the Gila struggles to keep flowing,” Yale Environment 360, July 8, 2021.  

DateFebruary 2021
LocationDome Valley, Arizona (map)
CreditTed Wood/The Water Desk
RightsFree to reuse under Creative Commons license.

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