Dry weather not helping lakes - FOX Carolina 21

Dry weather not helping lakes

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We have seen some extremely dry weather and warm weather since 2014 has started. This time of year we normally get a few low pressure systems to drive down the west coast and bring us cooler weather and rain/snow showers. But this year, high pressure has been strong in the west and really is not showing any immediate signs of it breaking down.

The last time Tucson saw rainfall was back on December 20th, over a month ago. This lack of rain is being felt from vegetation to our water supply. And with no rain in the forecast over the next several days, things could get worse. 

Looking at our water levels around the state, we are not doing very well. A long term drought and lack of rain this winter season is allowing those lakes to fall fast. Looking at the Colorado River basin and the two largest lakes supplying water to Arizona, Mead and Powell, they are sitting less than 50% full. Down over 100 feet from full capacity.

  Lake Mead Lake Powell
Capacity 48.26% 41.06%
Height from Capacity -111.3' -119.4'
Current Elevation 1219.6' 3700'

The Salt and Verde River that feeds water to the Phoenix metro is not doing well either, even though the water in both systems is slightly higher then last year, they are just above half way full.

  Roosevelt Lake Canyon Lake Apache Lake Saguaro Lake Bartlett Lake Horseshoe Lake
Capacity 48% 94% 94% 94% 67% 24%
Height from Capacity -49.69' -3.60' -5.25' -3.14' -24.19' -40.35'
Current Elevation 2101.31' 1656.90' 1908.75' 1525.86' 1773.81' 1985.65'

The two river systems combined (Salt and Verde) are sitting at 55%, but a year ago they were sitting at 49%. Without a major winter storm to bring that snow pack we like to see, these lakes can drop by summer to very low levels.

When using water use it wisely!


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