Story of the CAP system, Arizona’s water delivery wonder

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Central Arizona Project System

Where does the Central Arizona Project (CAP) system start?

Think water sports.

Many know Lake Havasu in western Arizona for its incredible recreational fishing and boating options. It’s also the site of CAP’s Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant, the first plant in the 336-mile system that diverts the Colorado River water from Havasu before six, 66,000-horsepower pumps lift water more than 800 vertical feet into Buckskin Mountain Tunnel.

From there, the water flows downhill to the next plant.

The CAP system is ready to deliver any water supply to central and southern Arizona using precisely managed and engineered infrastructure that includes tunnels, check gates, turnouts, and 14 pumping plants.

Finally, after specific deliveries to approximately 60 CAP water users in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, the system ends at its terminus just south of Tucson.

This phenomenal water-conveying framework is essential to the health, economy, and environment of central and southern Arizona.

And that’s not the whole story. Check out our CAP system StoryMap, a multimedia marvel that tells the system’s tale.