The Central Arizona Project system is 336 miles long, originating on the Colorado River in Parker, Arizona, and ending south of Tucson.
The typical canal section is shaped like a trapezoid with a bottom width that is 24 feet for the majority of the system. The canal is filled with water to approximately 17 feet deep.
Some other factoids about this amazing system:
- The system includes CAP storage reservoir Lake Pleasant and a hydroelectric pump/generating plant at New Waddell Dam, both of which are located around the midpoint of the system in central Arizona.
- 14 pumping plants lift water nearly 3,000 feet. It takes significant power to pump water uphill. Hence, CAP is the single, largest power user in Arizona.
- There are more than 50 turnouts that deliver raw Colorado River water to municipal and industrial, tribal and agricultural users.
- Four tunnels move water through mountainous terrain. One example is Burnt Mountain Tunnel about 60 miles west of Phoenix. Its shape is most similar to a horseshoe with a diameter of 19.5 feet and a length of .6 miles.
- The original cost of the system was $4 billion.