Flowing into the future: How SRP measures, monitors and moves Arizona water

arizona-water-begins-in-the-forest-as-snow-and-rain

Have you ever stopped to think of the trip Arizona water takes to get to your faucet? How does it get there? Where does it come from?

For over 116 years, SRP has been monitoring, measuring and moving water for delivery to a growing city. It’s an effort that takes experts coming together with some pretty cool technology.

Here are some ways that we keep our eyes on the Arizona water supply.

SRP Snowtography®

SRP Snowtography monitors watershed health over time by using time-lapse photography. We are able to gather information on snow depth, environmental conditions and more.

These solar-powered sites are located at many locations in SRP’s watershed at key elevations between 4,000 and 8,000 feet.

SRP Snowtography helps us understand:

  • Snow depth and melt
  • Snow levels and time on ground
  • Changing watershed conditions each season
  • How plant life changes over time

SRP Flowtography®

Similarly, we use photo technology to monitor the flow of water over time.

SRP Flowtography is a unique solar-powered technology developed by SRP. It helps us keep a close eye on and predict water conditions across our 8.3 million acres of watershed. As stewards of the Valley’s water supply, this is very important.

SRP Flowtography helps us understand:

  • The flow of Arizona water and behavior of streams 
  • How streams and the environment around them change each season
  • The impact of changing watershed conditions

Arizona water quality

In addition to monitoring the flow of water, we also measure its quality. For this reason, our experts regularly test river, canal and well water for pollutants.

That way, we can track changes in water quality and keep our partners at Valley water treatment plants in the know.

You can do your part to help keep Arizona water clean. Here’s how:

  • Don’t overdo it on fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Store lawn and garden chemicals securely.
  • Never pour chemicals down drains or sewers or on the ground.

Monitoring water quality allows SRP to continuously provide data to Valley cities that they can use to manage their drinking water supplies. This requires us to work collaboratively with our partners to provide customers with quality water.

Collaborative canals

SRP’s system of canals is central to life in the Valley. Over 131 miles of winding pathways deliver water to Arizona residents daily.

Over the years, the canals have become a symbol of collaboration for the many communities they touch. Beyond water and power, these canals create a canvas of opportunity for all.

In fact, recreational biking and jogging routes and thoughtfully landscaped paths can be found along the canals. They continue to make our state better.

Currently, we’re working with nine cities to plan canal path projects. However, the canals aren’t just there for recreation. In fact, they carry irrigation water to cities to be turned into drinking water, as well as to farms, parks, homes and schools.

Customers who receive irrigation water benefit from a low-cost way of watering their trees and plants. Within hours, 2 to 3 inches of water soak into the ground.

Contemplating the canals and Arizona water

In conclusion, next time you’re safely enjoying a canal path, take a moment to notice the water flowing by. Think of how it supports life here in the Valley. How many melted snowflakes are you looking at? How long did it take to get here?

By all means, you can rest assured knowing it’s being carefully managed.

Want to learn more about the Valley’s water and how we manage it? All of this info and more can be answered by our experts at the annual SRP Water Expo. Be sure to check back for next year’s event info.

SRPconnect

SRPconnect

For more than a century, SRP has provided reliable, affordable water and power to more than 2 million people in central Arizona. As a community-based not-for-profit water and energy company, SRP acts in the best interest of the people it serves and strives to help build a better future for Arizona.

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