When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Colorado River Basin Project Act into law in 1968, he declared the act would “make the waters of the West a little sweeter and the grass of the West a good deal greener.”
And while we may not characterize our water supply in quite that way today, his words do speak to the significance of this act that became law on Sept. 30, 1968. The act authorized the construction of Central Arizona Project and shaped the long-range operating criteria for the Colorado River Basin.
CAP will be celebrating the anniversary of the Colorado River Basin Project Act starting in January through September 2018, sharing some of the “behind-the-scenes” stories that led to this historic act and the work it took to bring one of the nation’s engineering marvels to reality.
Upon signing the act, President Johnson acknowledged that “for the millions of Americans west of the Continental Divide, it will provide more water for growing cities; it will provide more water for expanding industries, for the farmers' crops, and for the ranchers' cattle.” The ramifications of the Act have been realized with increased water supplies, economic vitality and recreational uses. Throughout 2018, CAP will celebrate the many ways it provides reliable water supplies to central Arizona’s municipalities, irrigation districts and tribal nations.
This anniversary provides an opportunity to educate the general public, as well as CAP employees, partners and stakeholders about its history and value as a reliable steward of central Arizona’s Colorado River water entitlement and as a collaborative leader in Arizona’s water community.