San Carlos Lake is filling up fast, is at the highest level since 1996.

San_Carlos_Lake is located within the 3,000-square-mile (7,800 km2) San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, and is thus subject to tribal regulations. It has been full only three times, in 1993 it overflowed the spillway and about 35,000 cfs of water caused erosion damage to natural gas pipelines. The lake contained (April 6,2021) less than 100 acre-ft of water. All fish was dead. This was also the case in 2022, thelake was emptied even earlier in the season.

When former President Coolidge dedicated the dam in 1930, the dam had not begun to fill. Humorist Will Rogers looked at the grass in the lake bed, and said, “If this were my dam, I’d mow it.”[

After the Transcontinental aqueduct will be built the lake will always be nearly filled, lake level will be at up to 2510 feet with flood control nearly automatic, it will never overflow, and it will look like this, or better:

The San Carlos lake, when filled will hold 1,000,000 acre-ft of water. Here it is half filled.

The Coolidge dam will have to be retrofitted to accommodate a 17,000 cfs water flow. When water starts flowing at half capacity, 8,400 cfs in phase 1 of the building project it will take 2 months to fill the lake.

What’s in it for Arizona? The San Carlos Lake has been a great disappointment. It is more often empty than even half full, and when it is empty, all fish die. The Gila river will be rejuvenated and will be able to contain fish again, making it the great recreation spot it was meant to be. In addition it will generate up to 1,4 GW of Power and carry up to 12 Million Acre-ft per year of water to the thirsty American South-west when the aqueduct is built to full capacity. In the first phase when the power stations have installed only half capacity, the flow will be 6 MAf per year, and power generated will be up to 700 MW.

Thanks to an over abundance of rain ad snow this winter the lake is now at the highest level since 1996, at 325% of normal level, and the melting of the snow-melt in the mountains has yet to manifest itself’ This is the chart of the current year’s statistics:

Mar 17 value 452,200 Acre-ft. The first 10 years of the dam the lake was below half full. The chart from 1882 to today shows that the lake is now at the highest level since 1996.

the Colorado River will operate in a Tier 2 shortage condition for the first time starting in January 2023. Arizona will face the largest cuts — 592,000 acre-feet per year.

The San Carlos Lake being half filled for the first time in 27 years will alliveate the Arizona drought, but not enough to stop draining the aquifers. With people fleeing California and resettle in Arizona the only viable solution is to build a Trans-continental aqueduct from the Arkansas River to Arizona. Check it out, it is quite interesting.

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Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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