Our Water Future: Central Arizona Project (CAP)

Have you ever wondered about the source of water in the local canals? Or, what is the Central Arizona Project (CAP) anyway? What are the upper and lower basins of the Colorado River?

What are these drought contingency plans I keep hearing about, and what do they have to do with the water level in Lake Meade? What about the Superstition Mountains Recharge Project (SMRP), and recharge projects in general? Finally, what is the importance and influence of all this (and that canal water) on us in northern Pinal County?

Mitch Basefsky, CAP’s External Communications Representative for Pima and Pinal Counties and an Arizona water guru for more than 25 years, will discuss the above questions and much more at the October 2nd kickoff of the SALT Speakers Series for the 2018/19 season.

The talk, co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust (SALT) and the Apache Junction Parks & Recreation Department, will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Rm. B-117 in the AJ Multigenerational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Rd. It is free and geared for the public.

The Central Arizona Project is a 336 mile-long diversion canal in Arizona. The aqueduct diverts water from the Colorado River from the Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge south portion of Lake Havasu near Parker into central and southern Arizona. According to the CAP website, it is the single largest source of renewable water supplies in the state – bringing 60% of Arizona’s share of Colorado River Water to the thirsty cities of Southern Arizona. Municipal, industrial, agricultural and Indian customers all rely heavily on CAP for their water.

Long-term drought and habitual overuse are threatening the sustainability of the Colorado River. Much of Arizona’s economy and quality of life depend on a reliable water supply from the river, which supports more than 80% of the population of the state. In view of the increasing risk of shortage and the growing potential for catastrophic declines in Lake Mead, CAP and the state are actively engaged in protecting and preserving this most precious natural resource.

Learn about the status of the Colorado River, what’s being done to reduce the risk to the river and where we go from here.

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