SRP to stop releasing reservoir water into Salt River - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

SRP to stop releasing reservoir water into Salt River

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Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008 8:11 pm | Updated: 11:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

SRP will stop releasing reservoir water into the Salt River for the first time since Jan. 27 now that snowmelt in the high country has decreased.

The Valley's largest supplier of water told Phoenix and the Maricopa County Department of Transportation earlier this week that it would stop the water releases so that city and county officials could determine when to reopen flooded road crossings on the Salt River at McKellips Road and 67th and 99th avenues.

SRP has spilled more than 150,000 acre-feet of water into the Salt River in recent months because of limited capacity at the Horseshoe and Bartlett reservoirs on the Verde River.

Charlie Ester, manager of SRP's Water Resource Operations, said in a news release that the snowpack on the Verde River watershed has melted and that Verde River inflow has dropped to less than the Valley's daily water needs.

SRP's reservoir system is now 96 percent full, compared with 62 percent full a year ago, Ester said. He added that Roosevelt Lake, which holds 70 percent of SRP's storage capacity, is now 95 percent full.

Whether Roosevelt Lake fills completely during the spring depends on future temperatures and storms on the watershed. Above-normal temperatures and faster-paced snowmelt could prompt additional water releases into the Salt River through the Valley.

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