Arizona utility: Really wet summer follows very dry winter

The second-driest winter on record in the Salt River Project’s watershed was followed by a monsoon that the water and power utility said was the second-wettest since it started keeping records nearly 110 years ago.

The 2021 monsoon provided nearly 250,000 acre-feet (80 billion gallons) of inflow into the utility’s reservoirs on the the Salt and Verde rivers during July and August, falling just short of being the all-time wettest monsoon, Salt River Project said in a statement on Sept. 15.

An acre-foot of water is enough to cover an acre with one foot of water. The SRP says that’s about 325,000 gallons (1,230,258 liters), or enough to meet the average demand of about three households in metro Phoenix for a year.

"We know we have great climate variability in the Southwest," said Charlie Ester, manager of SRP watershed management. "The past two seasons demonstrate that by producing the second driest winter season ever followed by the second wettest summer season ever."

SRP provides nearly all of the metro area’s water supply, serving about 2 million people.

Rain/flood safety tips

The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:

  • Turn around don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
  • If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
  • Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
  • If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.

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