Latest storms won't save Colorado River reservoirs, but the Verde is in good shape

By Ron Dungan
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 5:08pm

The weekend’s storms provided some drought relief for Arizona, though not enough to recharge the state’s Colorado River reservoirs.

But they may help in the Salt River Project watersheds.

SRP crews conducted a snowpack survey Friday to see how much snow is in the Verde River watershed, which will help them forecast spring runoff into local reservoirs.

They found slightly higher snowpack and water in high country tributaries.

That was Friday, before a weekend of rain and snow slammed the state.

Bo Svoma, a meteorologist with SRP, said the storms improved the outlook for water storage considerably.

"Since that time there’s been incredible amounts of snow. And now the snowpack on the Verde River watershed is the largest it’s been in January, since 2010," Svoma said. "So the weekend changed the situation greatly."

He said SRP plans to look at the Salt River watershed next week.