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A break in the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal near Bouse sent water across the desert and closed Highway 72 early Sunday.
CAP maintenance crews responded to the emergency and that section of the canal now is isolated. It is unknown at this time what caused the break and until that section of the system drains, there is no way to be sure how long or to what extent repairs will be needed.
All pumping from the Colorado River has stopped and it is estimated that the water loss from the CAP system will be about 400 acre-feet. One acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons.
Although it will not pump water from the Colorado River until repairs are made, CAP will continue to make normal deliveries to its customers from water it has stored in Lake Pleasant. Currently CAP has about 330,000 acre-feet of water stored in the lake.
The problem was initially noticed about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when water operators monitoring the water deliveries noticed a drop of about one foot in that section of the system. It seemed to stabilize so it was decided to wait and do an inspection in the daylight. A maintenance supervisor found the break about 7 a.m.
The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety closed Highway 72 due to the flooding. It is unknown when the road will reopen.