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Central Arizona Project, others, noted for response to Colorado River shortages

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Crystal Thompson

AZ-Forward-AwardThe Central Arizona Project (CAP) joined the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) in accepting the first-place Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future at Arizona Forward’s 35th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards, held Sept. 12 at Chateau Lux in Phoenix. The collaborative “Team Arizona” was honored for response to Colorado River shortages and efforts to build resilience and execute water strategies to ensure dependable water supplies. More than 120 entries were received in Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious awards competition that focuses exclusively on sustainability.

For years the Central Arizona Project has worked with partners and planners to store nearly 3.4 million acre-feet of Colorado River water underground, provided $5 million to help fund the newly-established Colorado River System Conservation Program and aligned with irrigation districts in central Arizona to leave water in Lake Mead.

“It is an honor to be recognized with the Governor’s Award, and to be a part of the team with the City of Phoenix and the Department of Water Resources,” said CAP Board President Lisa Atkins. “CAP values the close working relationships we have developed with regional partners to conserve Colorado River water and and store water underground in order to improve the health of the river and reduce the chances of a shortage. This cooperation is a shared sacrifice toward safeguarding the long-term reliability of the Colorado River system for everyone.”

CAP is Arizona’s single largest resource for renewable water supplies, bringing water to more than five million people in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties from a 336-mile-long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines.

Nearly 600 business and civic leaders were in attendance at the event hosted by Arizona Forward, which has brought business and civic leaders together for public dialogue on regional issues since 1969.