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'The highest snowpack we've had in 30 years': Winter storms benefit AZ water systems

Arizona has seen high snowfall and -rainfall storms all winter, causing SRP's reservoirs to fill to capacity.

ARIZONA, USA — Salt River Project said this winter has been the best for the Verde and Salt River water systems in the last three decades. 

Arizona has seen high snowfall and rain all winter, causing SRP's reservoirs to fill to capacity. 

"We were up on the watershed last week to measure some of that snow, and many of the areas were four feet," SRP hydrologist Stephen Flora said. "And that was before last week's storm."

SRP has begun letting water out of Granite Creek Dam to ensure the reservoirs don't get too full. Last week, 12News took an aerial tour of SRP's system, which was already near capacity.

SRP said it's releasing smaller amounts of water at a time through the dams. That water then travels down the Verde and Salt Rivers until it reaches Tempe Town Lake.

“This is now the highest snowpack we've had on the Verde watershed in the last 30 years," Flora said. "This last storm kind of just put us over the mark."

That water has begun to overflow some low crossings, like McKellips just north of Loop 202. That road has been closed for flooding since last night, SRP said. 

But while the water doesn't reach SRP's canals, Flora said it will go into the ground to recharge the Valley's groundwater. 

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: El sistema de agua de Arizona se beneficia de las tormentas invernales

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