YUMA, Ariz. – Typically the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) allows about 3,000 cubic feet of water at one time to flow down the Colorado River according to officials. However, due to the rain last week the river water level was higher than usual.
“When the storms hit, the irrigations districts deferred their water orders so they left it in the river. So we have to either send the surplus flows down to Mexico, Mexico can pull off that excess flow into Morelos Dam for use in the Mexicali Valley or we put as much in either canals or small off stream storage reservoirs.” said Doug Hendrix who is a public affairs specialist for the BOR.
Officials with the bureau say their system is designed to gauge water needs depending on weather forecast systems. However, sometimes Mother Nature can catch them by surprise.
“The system is designed to react, we weren’t in danger of over-topping a reservoir or a dam, it’s just we have to push a little more water through the canals or through the river from time to time.” said Hendrix.
Ron Knolten works with Arizona River Towns and has seen the Colorado over-flow in the past. He says the increase of water is nothing to worry about.
“This is just basically draining, if you go down there and mark it and you’ll watch it just drop. I call it, ‘do everything at a fourth grade level.’ it’s just a slug of water that is being distributed.” said Knolten.