Salt River Project hopeful for healthy runoff levels


The Salt River Project hopes for healthier runoff levels this year.  

After several years of low runoff averages, the Salt River Project is excited about what project leaders hope to be a more average runoff level this year.

Unfortunately, in the past five years, the inflow of runoff water into the Salt River and Verde River have been below average, which is being attributed to weather patterns. However, this year, the El Nino pattern has been responsible for an increased amount of snow, and some of this snow has already begun melting -- thereby sending water into reservoirs.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the pattern of strong El Niños holds up, and that this one still may have some work to do in March,” Charlie Ester, a manager with SRP, said.

Standing as the largest raw water supplier in the Phoenix metropolitan areas, it is important to SRP that it receives enough water to carry out necessary operations.

Currently, a number of rivers and reservoirs are below capacity, but SRP is hopeful that more years like this one will restore water to healthy levels. As of now, SRP thinks that El Niño may still have more runoff to offer before the season is over.

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