Tag Archives: salt river


2013 Runoff Best in Last Three Years

While the early forecast of an El Nino season never materialized, the 2013 runoff season nevertheless produced just enough snowmelt to refill the reservoirs to near the previous year’s level on the Salt and Verde rivers going into the heaviest-use period of the calendar year.

And, after two of the driest La Nina winters on record, water managers at Salt River Project aren’t complaining with the 444,788 acre-feet of stream flow accumulated in the first five months of 2013, the January-through-May period that amounts to the year’s runoff season.

“We’re thrilled that the runoff we got this year put us back to where we were a year ago,” said Charlie Ester, SRP’s manager of Water Resource Operations. “That may not sound like a lot, compared to years such as 2010 when we filled our reservoirs, but essentially we have regained all of the water that we used the previous year.”

Thanks to another boost from a better-than-average monsoon season, the reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers today stand at 55 percent full with 1.28 million acre-feet stored – exactly the same percentage as one year ago following the 23rd and 16th driest runoff seasons among the 115-year-old records kept by SRP.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake, which holds about two-thirds of the combined water stored on the Salt and Verde rivers, today stands at 45 percent full. Current storage on the Salt River system is 54 percent; the two reservoirs on the Verde River are a combined 62 percent of capacity.

This year’s runoff season, while still below the 30-year median runoff of 534,336 acre-feet, was the most productive since 1,418,960 acre-feet of water was accumulated during the 2010 runoff season — the 20th most productive year on record. The snowmelt runoff in 2012 amounted to only about 196,064 acre-feet, which followed the 2011 runoff total of 222,907 acre-feet.

SRP is the largest raw water supplier in the Phoenix metropolitan area, normally delivering about 1 million acre-feet annually.


Quagga Mussels Found in 2 SRP Canal Locations

A routine inspection of Salt River Project’s canal system last month has yielded evidence of quagga mussels at Arizona Falls on the Arizona Canal and on a canal structure in the Crosscut Canal. This is the first evidence of adult mussels in SRP’s canal system.

SRP crews on July 12 found a quagga mussel settlement during an inspection of monitoring points along the Arizona Canal. Both checkpoints contained a very small amount of adult mussels — four at Arizona Falls and less than 20 in the Crosscut Canal. Indications were that the mussels were recent arrivals at both facilities, which are located along canals on the north side of the Salt River.

Inspection points on canals and laterals located south of the Salt River remain free of quaggas. There is still no evidence of quagga mussels in the SRP reservoir system on the Salt and Verde rivers, which are also monitored regularly.  Boaters are urged to continue to “clean, drain and dry” their boats to prevent introducing quagga mussels to the reservoir system.

Nina Mullins, senior director of Water Shareholder Operations, said SRP is coordinating with the Bureau of Reclamation and other federal and state agencies to evaluate methods of reducing the impact of the invasive species and will continue to communicate any updates or changes regarding the status of the quagga mussels to SRP’s water customers and municipal partners.

“Although the quagga mussel numbers are very few, we want to continue to ensure that our water transmission and delivery system stays in peak operating condition to serve all of our water customers,” she said.  “We expected to find these mussels in our canal system eventually, so we are very fortunate that they were discovered early and that we’ll have a head start in deciding how we’ll minimize their presence.”

Each fall and winter, portions of SRP’s major canals north and south of the Salt River are dried up for about a month, each side separately, so construction and maintenance work can be done. Mullins said that the next scheduled dry-ups in November and January will also provide an opportunity for SRP crews to look for further evidence of mussels and to implement increased controls to protect facilities located along the canals.

Mullins said the checkpoints at both facilities on the Arizona and Crosscut canals where the quagga mussels were found are located in slower sections of the canal, but that the discovery in the Arizona and Crosscut canals may indicate adaptation to SRP canal system conditions.

Previously, adult quagga mussels were spotted three times – in 2008, 2009 and earlier this year — at the doorstep of SRP’s water-delivery system, the SRP-CAP Interconnect Facility, where SRP takes occasional deliveries of Central Arizona Project water.

Quagga mussels were inadvertently introduced into Lake Mead, and have spread along the Colorado River since first detected in 2007. They now can be found in Mohave, Havasu and Lake Pleasant reservoirs, and are assumed to be spreading in the Central Arizona Project system.  SRP was taking deliveries of CAP water via SRP’s northside canal system in recent months.

Quagga mussels attach to hard surfaces such as concrete and pipes, and can multiply rapidly. Mussels can affect canals, aqueducts, water intakes, dams and power plants, resulting in significant maintenance costs. The mussel can also damage watercraft and impact lake ecosystems and fisheries.

Mullins said SRP will continue its collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation to support the “Don’t Move a Mussel” campaign to limit the spread of quagga mussels in Arizona’s waterways.  More information about the outreach campaign is available on SRP’s website at www.srpnet.com/quagga or the Arizona Department of Fish and Game website.

SRP is the largest provider of water and electricity to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, delivering about 1 million acre-feet to agricultural, urban and municipal water users and providing electric service to about 970,000 customers.

salt river tubing - summer safety

Summer Safety: Salt River Tubing

The Salt River is officially open for business this summer, and has already received an astonishing amount of traffic from the community. It is important to be informed of the rules for safe recreation prior to visiting the river. In order to ensure an enjoyable and memorable experience with friends and family, I have compiled an excellent list of safety tips to remember and constantly enforce, while cruising down the river this summer and reduce the risk of personal injury.

It is critical to understand that the Salt River is located on an Indian Reservation, meaning that the tribe has jurisdiction for all suits against the Tribe. If an injury were to occur during your visit at the river, the homeowner responsible for the injured party would be liable and eligible to be sued. That is why the tips below are crucial to follow and understand to protect yourself and your friends from being sued.

I cannot stress enough the importance of regulating alcohol consumption and assigning the role of a designated driver to a specific person in the party. If a driver is pulled over after having been drinking, the fines can excel up to $2900, carry up to six months of jail time on the first offense and a two-year suspension of license. In addition, if a passenger is injured in an accident with a drunk driver, the DUI fines still apply with an additional liability for the driver to be sued by the passenger. All individuals in the car are in danger if a designated driver is not secured prior to alcohol consumption, and the result will be severely life changing.

Here are some tips to keep you injury free:

  • Drink Water: While this may come across as an obvious piece of advice, it is imperative to drink an excessive amount of water while visiting and enjoying the Salt River. Arizona has already set heat records this season, thus staying hydrated will prevent health risks while experiencing all that the river has to offer.
  • Wear Sunscreen: Salt River activities have been known to turn into an all-day event, even if a smaller amount of time had previously been allotted. Therefore, it is crucial to apply a generous amount of sunscreen and bring enough to the river to last all day.
  • Bring Food: Not only is it important to eat a nutritious breakfast before heading to the river, it is necessary to pack portable snacks that will satisfy hunger while remaining under the sun.
  • Water Shoes: Water shoes may not be the most attractive shields for your feet, but are essential in concealing your feet from all the underwater dangers that are not visible from the surface. Like they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Bungee Cords: While traveling down the river, a bungee cord may become necessary if the party wants to keep all members together. Although it is a slow-moving river, currents can tend to pick up speed, causing tubes to separate if not previously tied together. It is recommended to tie-up with members of your group, so you do not get separated or injured. If you are not attached to others in your party, you have a higher chance of being flipped over or pulled under the rapids.
  • Have a plan of action: In case you become separated from your party, have a meeting place set so you are not “stranded” in the heat, which could lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Thomas M. Richardson is an attorney and partner at Friedl Richardson Trial Lawyers in Phoenix. Friedl Richardson specializes in premise liability cases, as well as car accidents, bicycle accidents and dog-bite related injuries. For more information, please visit www.azrichlaw.com or call 602-553-2220.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale

The Impact Of The Boys & Girls Club Of Greater Scottsdale

Since 1954, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale has provided more than 100,000 Northeast Valley youth with a positive, supervised environment to explore the power of their potential. Today we serve 16,000 children and teens through the organization’s nine branches and 12 outreach sites located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Hualapai Indian Community and other Northeast Valley neighborhoods.

The Boy & Girls Club offers more than 100 youth development programs emphasizing five core areas: the arts; character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; and sports, fitness and recreation.

We are thrilled that Scottsdale Living magazine has been kind enough to partner with our organization to help tell the stories of our branches and the people in the greater Scottsdale community who have had a hand in our success — as well as demonstrate the true impact our organization has on our community-at-large.

Most people know about the indisputable positive impact of the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the nation. It is generally understood that these clubs provide a positive place for youth to develop healthy habits, improve their academic performance, learn conflict resolutions skills, experience the joy of volunteerism, stay away from violence and be safe while they are away from their home and school.

However, until a few years ago there was not any serious attempt to take a close look at the economic impact of the Boys & Girls Clubs around the country.

Together with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, we recently commissioned an economic impact study, funded through the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, to examine the collective impact of the 31 Boys & Girls Clubs locations in the Valley on youth served, their families and the larger community. The study is among the first that has recently been carried out with a clear intention of measuring the economic impact of the Boys & Girls Clubs in various parts of the country

The study shows that the Clubs provide millions of dollars of benefit to communities across the greater Phoenix area. In fact, every $1 spent by the Clubs generates $13.14 in earnings for Club parents. The study also showed that, every $1 spent by the Clubs generates $19.33 in positive economic impact for the community.

Additional findings include:

  • Higher graduation rates and improved lifetime earnings among Club members. Every $1 invested in Club programming generates $1.36 in increased earnings.
  • Total employment and income impact of the Clubs through operational and capital expenditures and use of volunteers — every $1 spent by the Clubs generates $1.67 in regional output.
  • Lower teen pregnancy and motherhood rates among Club members create economic savings — for every $1 spent by the Clubs $0.64 is saved by society.
  • Reduction in youth crime rates and savings to community — every $1 invested in the Clubs saves taxpayers $1.18 on expenditures for the criminal justice system.
  • Lowering of tendency to abuse substances and costs associated with underage drinking, tobacco use, and drug abuse — for every $1 spent by the Clubs, the economy benefits $1.34 in the reduction of costs associated with juvenile drinking.

We sincerely thank the community for helping us to continue to raise funds that are making a difference Valley-wide.

Rick Baker is Chairman of the Board at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. He has been involved with the organization since 2001 and is currently working with the team on
“Angels for Kids, Mentors for Life,” the annual giving campaign for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. Mentoring helps youth in their personal and educational development as well as prepares them to be productive future citizens.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, please visit bgcs.org.