Wet winter means SRP reservoirs are mostly full

Steve.Nielsen@fox.com (Steve Nielsen)
3 Min Read

At around this time in 2023, we were reporting on flooded streets in the Phoenix area, because water needed to be released from the dams, as some of the lakes, like Canyon Lake, was over 100% capacity.

Fast forward a year to 2024, there’s a lot of water in Canyon Lake, which is at 96% capacity. Some would say that is the perfect level, as the snowpack begins to melt.

“If you could order a perfect winter this year, we got it,” said Salt River Project Director of Water Supply, Charlie Ester. “By the end of the runoff season in a few weeks, we will be close to 100% full.”

Even if it didn’t rain in the watershed, precipitation in the Phoenix area, like the ones we saw over Easter weekend, helps.

“It does help because if you get a lot of rain in the Valley, people don’t water their yards, and demand goes down,” said Ester. “So if you don’t have demand, you take less water out of the reservoirs.”

As a whole, the Salt River system is doing well, with Roosevelt Lake at 93% full, Apache Lake at 92%, and Saguaro Lake at 93%.

At the same time in 2023, some of the lakes were at 101% capacity, and SRP needed to run water out of the system to prevent flooding, which ultimately lead to flooded streets near the dry river bed in the Valley.

For 2024, that shouldn’t be needed, even as snow melts.

“It causes inconveniences in any activities in the river bottom, and while I’d rather spill than not fill, we’re just going to get right up to the top, and have just enough water to fill us up,” said Ester.

Meanwhile, SRP officials expect to soon have permission to store more water for a longer period of time at Roosevelt Lake, which means less wasted water after wetter winters.

“[It] prevents us from having to release the water sooner, and the 100 extra days gets us into the heat of summer, when the Valley could use that water,” said Ester.

Source link
[email protected] (Steve Nielsen) , www.fox10phoenix.com
Latest News | FOX 10 , 2024-04-04 00:24:15
Tags: Environment,Drought,News,Us,Az,Maricopa County,Phoenix

Share this Article
Leave a comment