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LA District approves plan to extend water storage at Roosevelt Dam during high runoff seasons

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District
Published June 10, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District has approved a proposal to temporarily extend the amount of time the Salt River Project can hold water in a portion of the Flood Control Space at Roosevelt Dam in Arizona from 20 to 120 days.

This change will allow farms and communities downstream to use the water and reduce releases of floodwater from the dam into the normally dry Salt River. Roosevelt Dam is in central Arizona, about 80 miles from Phoenix.

The proposal is the result of collaboration among the Salt River Project, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and a consortium of local cities, tribes and agricultural districts.

The dam is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the Salt River Project, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers defines water levels and releases from the dedicated flood control space behind the dam in accordance with its Water Control Manual.

“The Los Angeles District is proud to be a part of this pilot program benefiting many Central Arizona cities, including the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community,” said Col. Andrew Baker, LA District commander. “For more than 100 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has contributed to the security and economy of the southwestern U.S. through the construction and operation of dams, levees, navigation structures and other projects.”

The five-year authorization of the modified plan, which was determined to have no impact on the safety of Roosevelt Dam or downstream communities, is anticipated to benefit millions of people in the surrounding communities. Throughout this five-year authorization period, SRP and partners will review the value of the revised operation to determine if requesting a permanent change to flood operations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warranted.

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit organization providing water and power to more than 2 million people in central Arizona. SRP manages the water supply for much of the valley — most of which comes from 8.3 million acres of land in northern Arizona. Snowfall and rain provide the water that travels through the watershed into SRP reservoirs, which is then delivered to 2.5 million homes and businesses in the Phoenix metropolitan area via an extensive network of canals.

“SRP recognizes the need to carefully manage every drop on the watershed while maintaining the safety of dams for our communities and protecting the environment,” said Leslie Meyers, SRP associate general manager and chief water resources executive. “SRP will continue to find ways to improve infrastructure, policies and technologies to ensure water reliability for central Arizona.”

The supplies made available during flood periods also will help reduce groundwater use and supplement supplies for communities impacted by Colorado River shortages. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Public Affairs
213-304-1181 (cell)

Release no. 24-004