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Sahuarita (Saw wah ree ta) is a town in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Sahuarita is located south of the Tohono O’odham Nation and north of Green Valley, 15 miles (24 km) south of Tucson. The population was 3,242 at the 2000 census; in 2007, it was estimated at 16,153.
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Sahuarita is located at 31°55′45″N 110°58′56″W / 31.92917°N 110.98222°W / 31.92917; -110.98222 (31.929245, -110.982241). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39.4 km²), all of it land. Since the most recent census was taken in 2000, the town has annexed more land; its area is presently about 30 sq mi (80 km²). The Santa Cruz River (Arizona) runs through the desert town, flowing north during the monsoons. Madera Canyon, located just southeast of the town is another important landmark.
Sahuarita Lake is an artificial lake that was completed on June 22, 2001, by Rancho Sahuarita. The lake surface area is 435,600 square feet (40,470 m2), with a 1-mile (1.6 km) long perimeter and maximum depth of 10 feet (3.0 m), holding approximately 70 acre feet (86,000 m3) of water. This reflects a water amount equivalent to less than one tenth of one percent (< 0.1%) of the 76,000 acre feet (94,000,000 m3) of water used by all of Sahuarita and Green Valley in 2006.
Northern view of Sahuarita Lake in December.The lake is a “managed lake”, which means that natural ecological changes within the lake that do “not fit within the parameters set by man”, are cause for remedial action to return to the goals of the management plan. Air compressors located at various points under the lake continually inject air through diffusers which aids the movement of water in a process called vertical mixing. This system of continual aeration enables the circulation of all water in the lake on a daily basis, and therefore creates an ecological balance and uniform appearance. The lake also contains fish and frogs, the former of which are regularly stocked by the Arizona State Department of Game and Fish, and is an attraction to ducks and various kinds of birds.
The lake consumes water to the extent that all the water in the lake must be replenished every year. Regarding water evaporation, lake documents state that according to the USDA Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, the mean annual evaporation rate for Sahuarita is 69 inches (1,800 mm) per year. This results in a mean water loss of 57.5 acre feet (70,900 m3) per year. Regarding water loss due to seepage, initial estimates indicated an annual loss of 10 acre feet (12,000 m3) of water, or 17% of total capacity per year. The J. Harlan Glenn Engineers that provided this estimate indicated that this equates to an “extremely low seepage rate”. On average, 65 gpm (gallons of water per minute) must be pumped into the lake to maintain its current level. A nearby well site that draws on the shared Upper Santa Cruz Valley aquifer is used to refill the lake. In 2006, 105.3 acre feet (129,900 m3) of water was used for the entire Sahuarita lake park, which includes water for the 5 acres (20,000 m2) of grass and restroom facilities.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,242 people, 1,155 households, and 927 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.2 people per square mile (82.3/km²). There were 1,247 housing units at an average density of 82.0/sq mi (31.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.85% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 1.08% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 7.40% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. 24.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,155 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.6% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.7% were non-families. 15.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,194, and the median income for a family was $55,338. Males had a median income of $42,258 versus $26,174 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,075. About 4.0% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.
2007 workforce survey
In April 2007, the Eller College of Management conducted an assessment survey of Sahuarita residents due to the town’s 529% growth since the 2000 Census, because data from that census “on workforce and community characteristics is no longer applicable.” The survey was mailed to 7,805 households and was weighted by area to ensure a representative sampling.
The survey reported that in educational attainment 19.7% of residents are high school graduates; 32.4% have an Associates Degree or some college; 26.9% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 14.6% have a Master’s degree, and 3.3% have a Doctoral degree. These statistics lead to the finding that “demonstrates significantly higher concentrations in associate’s, bachelor’s and graduate/professional degrees than the county as a whole, or the state.”
For places of work, 57% of residents reported working in Tucson, with 16.6% working in Sahuarita, and 12.7% in Green Valley. It found that local workers specialized more than workers elsewhere in Pima County, being most concentrated in the following occupations:
- Business and financial
- Computer and mathematics
- Architecture and engineering
- Healthcare practitioner and technical
- Protective service