What happens to the CAP canal when it rains?

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Canal and rainwater

Monsoons storms – and even a tropical storm — have added a bit of much-needed precipitation to our arid climate.

Question is: Do showers affect the CAP canal and our water operations strategy?

In short: not really.

Following a monsoon event, for example, our water operations team closely monitors all canal water levels to ensure all the drainage features along the canal system are operating correctly, not allowing storm waters to enter the canal. The team also looks for any sign that there has been flood damage to the canal that would allow canal water to leave the system. Additionally, our maintenance teams will inspect the canal in heavy storm areas to determine if there was any damage due to runoff and ensuing erosion. We may receive some amount of inflow into Lake Pleasant from the Agua Fria River depending on the storm, but this inflow is insignificant compared to the amount of water that is pumped into Lake Pleasant from the Colorado River.

So even a tremendous amount of rain will have little impact on canal water levels or our Lake Pleasant operations strategy, including the Lake Pleasant forecast for 2023.

Regardless of heavy rains or typical dry spells, CAP will still be focused on working collaboratively with water users to deliver available water supplies.

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