Gila River

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  • Originating in New Mexico on the western side of the Continental Divide in the Black Range, the Gila River flows through the Gila National Forest, the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and into Arizona along the Gila Mountains. The river then emerges from the mountains to flow through the Gila River Indian Community to Gila Bend, Arizona, and it finally feeds into the Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona.

    The Gila River provides water to Phoenix, Arizona. It also irrigates farms upstream from the Gila River Indian Community, which is home to the Akimel O'otham (Pima), the Maricopa, and the Tohone O'odham. Like most western rivers, the Gila does not have enough water to satisfy every demand, even in good years. The river's flow fluctuates significantly, depending ...

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