A water wonderland: Touring Arizona’s mountain watershed by helicopter in a time of moisture abundance

Arizona Water News

A tour courtesy of Salt River Project of the Salt and Verde watersheds

stewart-mountain-dam

Strictly in terms of aesthetics, it is the perfect time to skim several hundred feet over Arizona’s oldest water-delivery system — the two series of dams and reservoirs operated by the Salt River Project that provide the Valley with its largest supply of in-state surface water.

The air – sparkling and clear between February storms — is satisfyingly crisp. The landscapes are verdant from the abundance of moisture unleashed this winter on Arizona’s mountainsides. It’s poised for a magnificent bloom of spring wildflowers that now is just a week or three away.

Mormon Flat Dam

Eagle pairs are nesting. Wild horses are frolicking in the Salt River. And water is flowing in nearly every wash and cascading down nearly every mountainside.

After years of epic drought and disappointingly dry “El Nino” weather patterns, it is an invigorating…

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