Another Dry Winter For Salt and Verde River Watersheds

July 14, 2014

The Salt River Project is reporting another dry winter runoff season. 2014 was the eighth driest winter on record in terms of snow melt for the Salt and Verde River watersheds.

This is the fourth-straight year that the Salt River Project has seen below-average winter inflows to their reservoirs, a system that today stands just 51 percent full.

Charlie Ester is SRP’s water resource operations manager. He said it’s very unusual to experience that many dry years in a row, but added that this trend is far from creating a water crisis, at least for now.

"And after all these dry years that we’ve had, including the last four in a row, to still be half full is absolutely amazing," Ester said. "That means we could go through just as many dry years again before we would even get close to having a water crisis."

Ester said it’s not all bad news though, a forecasted El Nino event, which is known for warmer than normal Pacific Ocean temperatures, could lead to above-normal rain and snow in Arizona next winter, which would go a long way in refilling their reservoirs.

SRP is the largest untreated water supplier for the Phoenix metro area.