SRP Reservoirs Continue to be Resilient Despite 2022 Runoff Season Ending at Below Normal Levels
SRP’s Strategy for Storing During Wet Years Contributes to its Water Resiliency
Despite a few good storms this winter, the watershed that feeds SRP reservoirs experienced a drier than normal runoff season this year. While runoff numbers were relatively low, SRP officials say the reservoirs are prepared to meet the Valley’s demand for water this year and into the future.
This year’s snowmelt runoff from the Salt and Verde watershed amounted to about 200,000 acre-feet, which puts the 2022 runoff season as the 20th driest among 110-year-old records kept by SRP water managers.
The good news is today, even as the state experiences record drought conditions, the reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers stand at about 72 percent full with 1.64 million acre-feet stored as the Valley enters the heaviest-use period of the year.
“SRP continually plans for drought every year,” said Charlie Ester, manager of SRP Watershed Management. “The infrastructure we have in place plus the improvements we continue to make provide a system that is resilient.”
It’s important to note that multiple dry years doesn’t mean the reservoir system will run out of water. The SRP system is built and operated so that one wet year could refill the reservoirs. SRP continually assesses the adequacy of its reservoir water supply and only allocates a certain amount of surface water to ensure sufficient supplies are carried over for use in subsequent years.
In addition, SRP continues to emphasize the importance of water conservation, Ester said, and he encourages Valley residents to visit SRPnet.com/water/conservation for updates and easy ways to conserve water.
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SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Valley delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually, which is about 244 billion gallons.