SRP reservoirs expected to be at full capacity

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After two winters, Salt River Project (SRP) reservoirs are expected to be at full capacity this spring.

The Salt River system is 96% full, the Verde River System is 70% full, and overall the total reservoir system is 93% full.

Throughout the year, SRP continually releases water from the dams on the Salt and Verde rivers into a series of canals to meet the water requirements of the Valley.

Leslie Meyers, Associate General Manager at SRP, joined “Arizona Horizon” to tell us more about SRP and its reservoirs.

This year was a normal year, however the system was 90% full and still needs preparation for the upcoming years. 

“…When we make projections for next year and the year after we hope that we of course have another good solid water year and when we can start full, we can plan on being in good shape for the next couple of years,” said Meyers. 

The system also changes from year to year according to Meyers. 

Meyers stated, “…The system is highly variable and part of the reason why Salt River Project exists is that we needed reservoirs to get through those variable years. We have very high high’s and very low low’s. We have a lot of low years and we have a few really high years but the reservoir system allows us to balance that out.”

SRP is consistently working on Verde River for storage capacity. There are some challenges from the Verde River including sediments which take up half of the system. 

“We have two reservoirs on the Verde side of our system and when the water comes down off the Verde…periodically we have these really high water years like last year, the water comes hard and fast and it brings a lot of sediments with it,” said Meyers. 

According to analysis, there are certain solutions that can help with the capacity of the dams. 

“…Perhaps building a larger dam enlarging the lower dam, Bartlett Dam, so that we can recover that capacity in the lower dam,” said Meyers. 

Leslie Meyers, Associate General Manager, SRP

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