Coolidge Dam records highest water level in 5 years, a relief for Arizona farmers
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - While rain might be a problem on roads, it's an amazing sight for Arizona farmers.
Six months ago, Caywood Farms in Casa Grande was dusty, dry and brown. Now it's wet, muddy and most importantly - it's green.
"Oh yes, we’re happy," laughed Nancy Caywood with Caywood Farms. "It feels great. It’s just so nice."
A massively wet monsoon has changed her tune since FOX 10 spoke with Caywood in June.
The Caywood Farm has been in the family for five generations, dating back to the 1930s. They have dealt with droughts before, but nothing like this drought, which left parched fields with no crops, and canals filled with tumbleweeds instead of water.
Now, the alfalfa is green. She's even planted oats.
The canals that lead up to her property are full again thanks to Coolidge Dam, which had dried up in June.
Today, the water levels are at 220,700 acre feet, the highest mark since March 2017. It's also the highest December total recorded, according to online USGS data.
"Very, very variable situation but we’re in business another year, I can guarantee you that," said Shane Lindstrom with the San Carlos Irrigation District.
Lindstrom says Wednesday's rain is important, but it's all about where it falls.
"If it falls upstream Coolidge Dam it’s beneficial, if it falls downstream…we can’t store it," he explained.
Meanwhile, Nancy Caywood says they’re now planning to plant a lot of corn in this field because of Coolidge's water levels.
"We just have to hope for more rain and lots of snow in the watershed," Caywood said.
She knows it's just for one season, but it's hard to not be optimistic.
"We have to hope for more," Caywood said. "Hope the drought is over but…just getting this rain doesn’t mean the drought is over. We have to continue."
Nancy says they were expecting to get two clippings of alfalfa this year. Instead, they got four.
However, on a typical year they would hope for eight to 10 clippings, so there's still more progress to be made.
You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.
Caywood Farms six months ago vs today
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