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Despite dry monsoon season, reservoirs still full

Posted at 9:56 AM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 14:17:20-04

This summer, the Valley saw only two days of rain -- the lowest number of days ever on record.

As we head into fall, ABC15 spoke with Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources Tom Buschatzke about what impact the dry monsoon will have on the state's reservoirs.

Buschatzke says close to 40% of the state's water comes from the Colorado River and 17% comes from other rivers in Arizona.

Despite little rain, Buschatzke says Arizona's reservoirs are still full.

“Because they are specifically designed to hold water in the good years, in high snow and rain years, and to slowly use that water when we’ve had little rain or snow," he said. "Last winter, we had good snow pack and good rainfall and good runoff."

Buschatzke says right now, it's the farmers and cattle ranchers in rural parts of Arizona, who don't have access to reservoirs, that are hurting.

“We did recommend that the governor continue the drought declaration that allows federal funds to flow to impacted areas of the state," Buschatzke said. "So we recognize the risk that we might see from a dry monsoon, having been in a drought for a long time."

He says everyone can help out in the meantime by conserving how much water they use.