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What happens to the creek?

Just as water must originate somewhere, it also must go somewhere. As Sabino Creek flows through the canyon, some water evaporates into the air as water vapor.


Additional water is used by vegetation along the stream channel, or riparian corridor, in a process known as transpiration.

The remaining portion infiltrates into creek sediments and travels downward to the aquifer.



During large streamflow events, evaporation, transpiration, and infiltration infiltration remove only a fraction of the water within the canyon. Most of the water flows much further downstream and recharges the Tucson Basin aquifer . At these times, Sabino Creek waters flow into Tanque Verde Creek, which in turn flows into Rillito Creek, and later into the Santa Cruz River.

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