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A detailed analysis of the published results of the U. S. Geological Survey Phreatophyte Project conducted in the area of interest for the Corps of Engineers Camelsback Dam study provides the following results. It appears that the figure of 18.53 inches per year for water savings from phreatophyte clearing along the Gila River in southeast Arizona should not be used for predicting potential water salvage because of large sampling errors, measurement errors, and the inherent variability of the natural processes of evapotranspiration. An extensive literature review shows that no dependable values are available for the Gila River project area. It also appears likely that any savings of water would be completely consumed by required replacement vegetation. Replacement vegetation cannot be profitably grown in the study area irrespective of its water demands. From a cost/benefit perspective, the clearing of phreatophytes, replacement with substitute species, and maintenance do not appear to be justified by the presently available data.

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