KNAU and Arizona News
Tue August 14, 2012
Despite Heavier Monsoons, Flagstaff's Water Supply is Still Low.
Despite a wet monsoon season, Flagstaff is still in a drought.
The low water level has the city water department waiting for next spring.
Brad Hill, Director of Utilities for the City of Flagstaff reports that Upper Lake Mary is currently at 23% of its full capacity.
Hill says the 5-year-average at this time of year is 49%.
Lake Mary supplies about half of Flagstaff’s water supply, the other half coming from aquifers.
Hill says the lake isn’t filling because the forests soak up the water.
So the city water department waits for spring and the melting snow to replenish supplies.
"It’s directly dependent on the snowpack that the city receives, that Northern Arizona gets, and that this watershed gets during the wintertime,” Hill said.
Low levels this summer could spell trouble for the city next spring, if Northern Arizona has a dry winter.
In the meantime, water officials are hoping for a cold wet winter.