Looking Back: Feb. 11, 2009 Roosevelt Lake 22,000 acres of surface water

With the water level entering the dam’s flood control space on Feb.6 Salt River Project announced it has started releasing again water from behind Roosevelt Dam. The SRP said with the four reservoirs on the Salt River nearly full during the early stages of January to May runoff season, additional precipitation or runoff from melting snow would soon bring the elevation at Roosevelt Lake into uncharted territory and along with a second runoff in excess water releases into the Salt River. Water was leaving Roosevelt Lake at a relatively small rate of 300 to 500 cubic feet per second.

SRP went on to explain a Roosevelt Lake Elevation greater than 2,151 feet, which is considered full, is designated as Flood Control Space, as regulated by the Army Corps of Engineer’s Water Control Manual. The Corps specifies release rates during the rising and falling stages at Roosevelt Lake along with a 20 day draw down period to meet environmental requirements. Water in Roosevelt Lake behind the 357 foot high dam was in February nearly 100 percent full, only inches away from toping off. Salt River Project said it was watching to see how much runoff developed from the next storms without having to take too much water into the Flood Control Space...water SRP would have to release during a 20 day period.

“Capturing water in wet years for use in dry years means the SRP reservoir system is doing exactly what it was designed to do,” explained Charlie Ester, SRP’s Manager of Water Resources.