Monsoons fill major Arizona reservoir system to over 70%

Elk at the East Verde River
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This year’s monsoon season has brought welcome news to the non-profit utility, the Salt River ProjectOpens in a new tab., which relies on a several reservoirs and groundwater. SRP is a major water supplier to central Arizona, delivering water and power to over 2 million people.

Earlier this month, historically low levels of water in Lake Mead prompted the federal government to announce that 18% of Arizona’s Colorado River water was going to be cut.  SRP does not rely on the Colorado River.

This year’s monsoon delivered heavy rains that resulted in SRP’s reservoirs being filled to 71% of their capacity, ABC News reportsOpens in a new tab.. The SRP dam and reservoir systemOpens in a new tab. includes:

Salt River:

Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Lake
Horse Mesa Dam and Apache Lake
Mormon Flat Dam and Canyon Lake
Stewart Mountain Dam and Saguaro Lake

Verde River:

Horseshoe Dam and Reservoir
Bartlett Dam and Reservoir
Granite Reef Diversion Dam

East Clear Creek:

C.C. Cragin Dam and Reservoir

Tim Skarupa told ABC News (see the video below) that SRP was able to store over 150,000 acre-feet of water as a result of the monsoon storms.  Although still not at full capacity, the Project can withdraw groundwater to meet its needs if the reservoir levels fall short.  Nonetheless, water conservation is encouraged.

Image Credit: Mother and baby Elk at Third Crossing of the East Verde River north of Payson, AZ, Mp3aa, October 2020. Wikipedia CommonsOpens in a new tab..


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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September 5, 2021 11:31 pm
This news brightened my day.
Justine Weber
Justine Weber
October 17, 2021 4:56 pm
It has been an amazing season and there are lakes filled I didn’t even know existed! It was such a site to behold!

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