Monsoon Special 2012: Monsoon's effect on Arizona's drought

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by Brittney Shipp

azfamily.com

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 1 at 7:59 AM

PHOENIX -- Even though the monsoon can have a mind of its own, in Arizona, where every drop counts, hopes are high Mother Nature will deliver.

Salt River Project meteorologists hope for an active monsoon every year. Storms reduce the demand of water in the Valley by helping water lawns and irrigate farmers' fields. It helps with water conservation, but winter is the most important wet season for water storage.

With the wet winter of 2010, reservoir levels reached 100 percent, but because of two back-to-back dry La Niña winters, numbers for 2012 have fallen sharply to 65 percent.

According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona continues to experience extreme to severe drought conditions.

Knowing our soil and reservoirs are in need of rain, the focus shifts to our next wet season, the summer monsoon.

Surprisingly, meteorologists at SRP believe the monsoon isn't an important factor for reservoirs. Generally, they don't see much of an increased flow to our rivers. Even during rare years when they are able to store water, those years are considered a blessing but it's not something they count on.

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