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Yuma water levels cause major release at the Imperial Dam

By Ignacio Ventura
Published: Monday, September 4, 2023 - 10:20am

Imperial Dam
Luke Runyon/KUNC
The Imperial Dam on the California-Arizona border diverts Colorado River water to irrigate farms in California's Imperial and Coachella valleys.

The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office announced a "significant increase" in water levels at the lower Colorado River on Sunday.

Heavy rains in the area led to the Imperial Dam releasing up to 10,000 cubic feet of water per second as opposed to the average of 1,000 cubic feet.

Sean Benedict is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service based in Phoenix.

"Yeah, I mean, all of western Arizona as well as eastern or southeastern California saw a lot of rainfall just the past three days in general," he said.

The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office advised caution for those participating in water-related activities, like swimming or fishing, over the Labor Day weekend. 

Rainfall and storms were also heavy in La Paz County, west of Phoenix.

Environment Water Weather