Arizona drought lingers even amid rains

March 31, 2008

A wet winter in Arizona has filled lakes and streams, but experts say the Grand Canyon State's drought might not be over.

The Arizona Republic reported that storm runoff has nearly filled Roosevelt Lake, which was almost half-empty at the end of last summer. The newspaper reported it is possible the reservoir could reach full capacity.

"It came up 10 or 12 feet in one day," Dan Grim, general manager of the Roosevelt Marina, which is just east of Roosevelt Dam, said.

Even so, water experts say the state might still be in the throes of a prolonged drought since a wet winter often interrupts long dry spells that can span 20 years.

"We have to assume what we have is what we'll have for a while," said Charlie Ester, water resources chief for the Salt River Project, which manages the reservoirs. "We have to manage what we have for as long as possible."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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