Central Arizona Project- Celebrating 30 Years Of Serving Arizona


Thirty years ago, the first deliveries of Colorado River water began to central Arizona. Today, CAP is the state’s single largest source of renewable water—delivering more than one and a half million acre-feet of water (500 billion gallons) to central and southern Arizona each year. CAP celebrated this milestone at its June 4 board meeting with at least five former CAP board presidents in attendance—Howard Wuertz, Grady Gammage, Bill Perry, Susan Bitter Smith and Pam Pickard, and one, George Renner, remotely. Attendees were treated to a new video that included comments from the Governor’s office, various city mayors and chamber of commerce leaders.

CAP is a critical partner and collaborator with local and regional water resources managers, customers and stakeholders in managing water supplies for Arizonans. Over the past 30 years, CAP has amassed a list of innovations that have established it as a national leader in water planning. These include:

* Water conservation through a cooperative effort involving several Basin states and the federal government. One result is a pilot program that retains water in the Colorado River system for the benefit of all its users.

*Reservoir protection for Lake Mead through collaboration amongst CAP, other Lower Basin state water authorities and the federal government to delay the onset of shortages. This includes working toward longer-term solutions for managing and increasing storage in this vital reservoir.

*  Additional investments in water augmentation through cloud seeding, desalination and other efficiency projects.

* Underground water storage as a form of insurance against future shortfalls.

* The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program to support wildlife habitat restoration.

While a shortage may be declared on the Colorado River as early as 2016, Arizona is in a strong position to deal with the challenges due to Arizona’s far-sighted water management and the critical role CAP plays in that water management. CAP continues its commitment to managing and delivering reliable water supplies that will preserve and enhance the state’s economy, environment, quality of life and security, not only for today’s Arizonans but for future generations as well.