SRP opens spill gates of Roosevelt Dam for extended annual test

May 13, 2023, 7:15 AM

Theodore Roosevelt Dam undergoes a spill gate test May 11, 2023. (Photo courtesy Salt River Project...

Theodore Roosevelt Dam undergoes a spill gate test May 11, 2023. (Photo courtesy Salt River Project.)

(Photo courtesy Salt River Project.)

PHOENIX — Salt River Project conducted an annual spill gate test of Roosevelt Dam Wednesday, extending the time to more than 3 hours.

This annual test confirms operational readiness in the event of flooding and provides information on the dam’s ability to handle inflows from flood events.

After a wet and productive winter, Roosevelt Lake had the highest water levels in its history. Water had risen to its dedicated “flood control space” which is designed to slow down large floods. This was the third time this has happened since 1996 and after the dam had been raised by 77 feet.

During the test, all four spill gates were open for the first 50 minutes and then the two spill gates on the right side closed. The other two gates remained open for about 2.5 hours minutes, and in total, the test released about 2,000 acre-feet of water or about 650 million gallons of water downstream into Apache Lake.

This is compared to a typical release which consists of both gates being open for about 10 minutes and a release of about 5 acre-feet of water.

“This functional test, which is performed annually, is a sure-fire way to ensure the readiness of our water release capability,” Ivan Insua, SRP’s Director of Hydro Generation said.

“We will also be leveraging this season’s generous runoff by releasing some water in our Flood Control Space, which is above and beyond our normal conservation elevation, to perform an extended spill gate operation. This gives us very useful information on the gate and spillway performance.”

This past winter, snowpack on the 13,000-square-mile watershed that replenishes SRP’s reservoirs was the deepest it’s been in 30 years. More than 700,000 acre-feet of water or about 228 billion gallons have been released into the normally dry Salt River since March to ensure the reservoirs can handle all inflows from this winter’s snowmelt. Currently, the SRP reservoir system is at full capacity.

“Our dams and reservoirs are doing exactly their intent: to store as much water as possible in times of wet and serve our communities for times of dry,” Insua said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo)...

Associated Press

Mother pleads guilty after Arizona boy starves to death

An Arizona mother has pleaded guilty to murder and child abuse charges stemming from the death of her 6-year-old son who had been locked in a closet and denied food.

1 day ago

(AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 26-28

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the busy Memorial Day Weekend.

1 day ago

Migrants get help with the CBPOne app from a Tijuana, Mexico city worker Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in...

Associated Press

CBP One app assists asylum-seekers after end of Title 42

More than 79,000 people were admitted under CBP One from its Jan. 12 launch through the end of April.

1 day ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police investigate hit-and-run leaving 23-year-old woman dead

Phoenix police are investigating a hit-and-run that left one woman dead early on Sunday morning, authorities said.

1 day ago

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Wills Rice

Lake Pleasant, Salt River see heavy traffic during Memorial Day Weekend

Both Lake Pleasant and the Salt River have seen extensive traffic over Memorial Day Weekend as families try and beat the heat.

1 day ago

(Facebook photo | Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

1 man dead; 2 women, 1 child hurt in Litchfield Park stabbing

One man is dead, two women are injured and one child was taken to a hospital after a stabbing in Litchfield Park.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

SRP opens spill gates of Roosevelt Dam for extended annual test