SRP to Begin River Swap from Verde to Salt System
Gradual Water Releases from Stewart Mountain Dam Starts Today
Salt River Project will begin the annual spring river swap operation today with water releases ramping down on the Verde River system while gradually increasing from Stewart Mountain Dam on the Salt River.
This swap is starting slightly earlier this spring than in previous years due to projected below median inflows this winter and lower Verde River reservoir storage levels and will balance the water storage on the Salt and Verde storage reservoirs to ensure a reliable and sustainable water supply.
Releases from Bartlett Dam will gradually reduce to minimum release over several days and Stewart Mountain Dam releases will gradually increase throughout the week to meet demand for SRP deliveries with the river swap transition expected to be completed by Friday April 1.
Residents using the lower Salt River for recreational purposes should be aware of the increased flows. Between now and Friday, water releases along the lower Salt River will gradually increase out of Stewart Mountain Dam from 8 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 800 cfs.
Twice a year, or as conditions warrant, SRP switches river system diversions based on hydrologic conditions, water demand, maintenance requirements, hydrogeneration efficiencies and other factors. Typically, SRP begins utilizing the Salt River system in the spring and then switches to the Verde River system in the fall.
“The annual river swaps are just one tool SRP utilizes to ensure reliable delivery of water throughout the year. This is especially important during the increased summer demand season,” said Charlie Ester, SRP’s manager of Watershed Management. “Despite the fact that we’ve experienced drier than normal conditions these last two winters, SRP has effectively stored water during the wet years resulting in the SRP reservoir system to be at about 71 percent full.”
SRP delivers water to about half of the Valley’s residents and has maintained a sustainable, reliable and affordable supply of water through strategic resource planning.
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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 is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.