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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Water Woes XVIII-Drought Update

Tortolita Alliance (TA) attended the Local Drought Impact Group (LDIG) Meeting via Microsoft Team today (July 13, 2022).

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.

70% of Arizona in Severe Drought

Other Drought Highlights

  • Tucson Cumulative 2022 Annual Precipitation-3" below normal

  • La Niña Conditions-expected through the end of 2022

  • National Weather Service Monsoon Tracker-go to this link:

Lake Mead Elevations & Protection Volumes

Previously we reported that Camille Touton (Commissioner of the US Bureau of Reclamation) indicated that additional reductions of 2.0 to 4.0 million acre-feet of Colorado River water deliveries may be required in 2023. Below is a chart showing the data behind this projection:

The red block to the left shows the percentage of normal annual river flow [9.46 million acre-feet (maf)]. Note that river flow in 2022 is at the 63% level. The red block to the right shows annual volume of water (Colorado River cuts) required to maintain Lake Mead at 1,020' and Lake Powell at 3,525' and they range from 2.1 maf to 4.2 maf.

The elevation data shown for years 2023-2026 between the two red blocks show projected Lake Mead elevation if no action is taken. Remember dead pool at Lake Mead is elevation 895'. At this level there would be no hydroelectric power generation and water releases would be minimal.

Let's hope they take action soon and not gamble with this situation too much longer!


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