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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Drought Update-Mid-Year 2020

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Tortolita Alliance (TA) attended the Local Drought Impact Group (LDIG) Meeting via Microsoft Team on July 8, 2020.

LDIG is a bi-monthly gathering of local and state water agencies to discuss latest drought conditions across the state of AZ. Attendees include: TA, Marana Water, Tucson Water, Metro Water, National Weather Service-Tucson, Central Arizona Project (CAP), Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), Pima County Office of Sustainability & Conservation (OSC) and more.

The following information was gleaned from the meeting:

  • Drought Conditions-short term and long term drought conditions have worsened throughout all parts of AZ. See map above and go to ADWR Drought Status Web-Page to get more details.

  • Interactive Drought Dashboard-ADWR has established an interactive dashboard that allows you to look at drought conditions from various perspectives from 2000-2020. Go to ADWR Interactive Drought Dashboard and give it a try.

  • Tucson Area June Average High Temperature-102.2 F versus 100.3 F long-term average.

  • Tucson Area July Average Temperature-88.8 F versus 87.0 F long-term average. High temperature records are expected to be broken this coming weekend.

  • Tucson Area July Precipation-0.06 inches versus 2.5 inches long-term average.

  • Monsoon Season Delay-National Weather Service (NWS) predicts monsoonal rains will not arrive for 2-3 weeks. Go to NWS-Tucson Web-Page to get more details.

  • Colorado River System Forecast-April through July is expected to be well below normal for precipitation and reservoir inflow. Go to the Colorado River System Forecast Center for more details.

  • Colorado River System Reservoir Status-System Contents (amount of water in Lake Mead, Lake Powell and other smaller reservoirs) is at 52% as of 7/6/20. Go to USBR-Lower Colorado Region Website for the details. Lake Mead is at elevation 1,086.71 which is below elevation 1090' trigger for Tier Zero Restrictions of the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) in 2020. This means Arizona must cut 192,000 acre-feet of its annual 2.8 million acre-feet allocation.

  • Big Horn Fire-serious concerns about debris flow during next heavy rain events due to lack of vegetation lost during fire. NWS had three meteorologists assigned to work with firefighters during the fire.

  • Tortolita Fire-not much concern about debris flow as fire damage was not as extensive.

  • Metro Water-drilling three new wells!

As they say back home, "It ain't lookin pretty!"


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