ARIZONA NEWS

SRP allowed to hold water longer at Roosevelt Dam in Arizona during high runoff seasons

Jun 12, 2024, 1:04 PM

Salt River Project has been approved to hold water for longer at Roosevelt Dam east of metro Phoeni...

Salt River Project has been approved to hold water for longer at Roosevelt Dam east of metro Phoenix during high runoff seasons. (SRP Photo)

(SRP Photo)

PHONEIX — Salt River Project has been approved to hold water for longer at Roosevelt Dam east of metro Phoenix during high runoff seasons.

The utility’s proposal was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will let SRP hold water in a portion of the flood control space up to 120 days, an increase from 20 days.

The temporary extension would only be allowed to occur once a year for three out of the next five years.

“SRP recognizes the need to carefully manage every drop on the watershed while maintaining the safety of dams for our communities and protecting the environment,” Leslie Meyers, SRP associate general manager and chief water resources executive, said in a press release.

“SRP will continue to find ways to improve infrastructure, policies and technologies to ensure water reliability for central Arizona.”

How will plan save water, keep Roosevelt Dam safe?

Last year, SRP was required to release runoff within the required 20 days into the Salt River.

With the extension, about 109,000 acre-feet of water that was released could have been put into the SRP system. That total would have been able to support 330,000 households in the Phoenix area for a year.

The plan won’t come with any safety risks, according to SRP.

Communities downstream from Roosevelt Dam won’t be affected by the change.

SRP and its partners will review the operation to determine if a permanent change is needed.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Freeport McMoRan, Roosevelt Irrigation District and Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District are partners for the program, along with several cities in metro Phoenix.

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SRP allowed to hold water longer at Roosevelt Dam in Arizona during high runoff seasons