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Mitch Basefsky

Central Arizona Project (CAP) represents one of the most significant milestones in Arizona’s water history, and is one of our State’s most celebrated achievements of the 20th Century.

Thirty years ago, the first deliveries of Colorado River water began to central Arizona. Today, CAP is our State’s single largest source of renewable water - delivering more than one and a half million acre-feet of water (500 billion gallons) to central and southern Arizona each year. CAP is a critical partner and collaborator with local and regional water resources managers, customers and stakeholders in managing water supplies for Arizonans.

To recognize this important milestone, CAP is hosting an anniversary celebration on Thursday, June 4 at 9 a.m. at CAP Headquarters, 23636 N. 7th Street in Phoenix. Remarks from six former CAP Board presidents, including Howard Wuertz, Grady Gammage, George Renner, Bill Perry, Susan Bitter Smith and Pam Pickard, will identify what has made this milestone possible in meeting the needs of the State. Video interviews with CAP customers and stakeholders will also be shared, along with an historic photo display and commemorative items.

CAP is an incredible piece of engineering, with a vast system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines that stretch 336 miles from its origin at Lake Havasu to its terminus 14 miles south of Tucson. It is a critical artery through which Colorado River water is pumped to municipalities such as Phoenix and Tucson and farms in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima Counties. These areas thrive, in no small part, due to reliable supplies of this vital natural resource.  While a shortage may be declared on the Colorado River as early as 2016, Arizona is in a strong position to deal with the challenges due to Arizona's far-sighted water management and the critical role CAP plays in that water management.  

CAP has been an essential part of the success of Arizona for more than 30 years. According to a study by the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, from 1986 through 2010, CAP has generated in excess of $1 trillion of Arizona's gross state product (GSP).

CAP continues its commitment to managing and delivering reliable water supplies that will preserve and enhance the state's economy, environment, quality of life and security, not only for today’s Arizonans but for future generations as well.