Valley water supply looks good for 2011

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Valley Water Supply Good for 2011

Considering we’re in a La Niña winter and considering we weren’t supposed to get much rain or snow at all, the Salt River Project lakes, AKA, reservoirs, are holding a decent amount of water. 

In simple terms, it means we should have no major water issues in the Valley for the rest of 2011. Does it mean we should waste water? Of course not. We’re always just one really dry year away from potential problems. Drought is a reality of life in the desert and water really is one of our most precious commodities.

In the Salt and Verde River systems, SRP reports they’re 88 percent full.  A year ago at this time, we were at 97 percent after coming off a nice winter.  What does that really mean in terms of numbers?  That represents slightly more than 2 million acre feet of water or about 625 billion gallons of water. 

Seems like a lot, right? But in an average year, the city of Phoenix uses about 350,000 acre feet of water, or about 17 percent of what’s currently being stored by the SRP Lakes. That doesn’t include any other Valley city. Believe me, when it’s dry, we drain those lakes quickly.

The good news? Our per capita use of water has gone down about 20 percent over the past 20 years so conservation efforts are apparently working.