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Verde River water releases make room for spring snowmelt

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Low-level water releases began Friday on the Verde River to make room for the spring snowmelt. Officials with the Salt River Project say the releases from Bartlett Dam will create additional storage capacity for the snowmelt and runoff season.

The low-level releases will likely become visible within the next week. This is the first water release since 2019. They are expected to continue through March.

SRP officials say recent surveys have determined that snowpack on the 13,000-square-mile watershed which replenishes the Verde River reservoirs is the second deepest it’s been in 30 years.

Over the next decade, SRP plans to increase storage capacity for the Verde River reservoir system. A group of 23 partners, including tribal, agricultural, and municipal organizations, along with the Bureau of Reclamation, has committed to working on a feasibility study.