Horseshoe Reservoir

June 16, 2006


Provided by: Joey Amanda Pace
Summary authors & editors: Joey Amanda Pace

Shown above are two views of Horseshoe Reservoir, located in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona. Horseshoe Dam, which was built between 1944 and 1946, controls the water level in the Reservoir. Spillway gates, funded by the City of Phoenix, were added in 1949 to establish water rights for Phoenix water users. Horseshoe Reservoir is the first of the Salt River Project lakes to be drained for irrigation and domestic water use, when the need arises. The reservoir is fed by the Verde River, which originates north of Prescott, Arizona. The Verde River flows for approximately 125 miles (200 km) before being impounded by Horseshoe Dam.

This past April, the Salt River Project has allowed Horseshoe Reservoir to be drained in order to provide water for Phoenix, which is still experiencing a many-year long drought. My husband and I visited on April 2, 2005, when the reservoir was full. We visited again on April 30, 2006, to see the reservoir at approximately 5% capacity. Both pictures were taken from the same vantage point.

Related Links: