In this study, hydrological processes are evaluated to determine impacts of stream restoration in the West Turkey Creek, Chiricahua Mountains, southeast Arizona, during a summer-monsoon season (June–October of 2013). A paired-watershed approach was used to analyze theeffectiveness of check dams to mitigate high ﬂows and impact long-term maintenance of hydrologic function. One watershed had been ex-tensively altered by the installation of numerous small check dams over the past 30 years, and the other was untreated (control). We modiﬁedand installed a new stream-gauging mechanism developed for remote areas, to compare the water balance and calculate rainfall–runoff ratios.Results show that even 30 years after installation, most of the check dams were still functional. The watershed treated with check dams has alower runoff response to precipitation compared with the untreated, most notably in measurements of peak ﬂow. Concerns that downstreamﬂows would be reduced in the treated watershed, due to storage of water behind upstream check dams, were not realized; instead, ﬂowvolumes were actually higher overall in the treated stream, even though peak ﬂows were dampened. We surmise that check dams are a usefulmanagement tool for reducing ﬂow velocities associated with erosion and degradation and posit they can increase baseﬂow in aridlands.© 2015 The Authors. River Research and Applications published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Hydrologic Response of Streams Restored with Check Dams in the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona