SRP begins release of water to make room for snowmelt and runoff season
SRP’s chain of six reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers are now collectively at 87% full after being at 63% in early December. SRP has just begun a low-level release of water from Bartlett Dam on the Verde River to create additional storage capacity and provide maximum flexibility for the upcoming and continued snowmelt and runoff season. Chief Water Executive at SRP, Leslie Meyers joins Ted to discuss.
“The Salt River Project has two areas that really feed its reservoir system, and we talk about the Verde, we’re talking everything around the Verde River, and we call it the water shed,” said Meyers.
Snow-pack is the second deepest it has been in the last 30 years. In fact, on the Verde side, snow pack in four hundred percent of normal, according to Meyers. As the snow melts, this could create river run off, if precautions are not taken.
“That is very full this year, so that’s going to melt, and when it comes down the Verde, it enters the system at Horseshoe Dam, and then Bartlett Dam,” said Meyers. “This year, all the water we’re seeing coming through town right now is coming off the Verde side because we don’t have enough storage there [in Bartlett Dam].”
As Meyers mentioned, SRP is currently making plans to increase storage in Bartlett Dam. SRP recently completed an appraisal study with the Bureau of Reclamation and several local entities to determine the effectiveness of the increase. The organization if currently in the process of doing a feasibility analysis of the technical aspects of raising the dam. The analysis is expected to take four years.