During his interview, Cooke explained how the CAP system works, the importance of Colorado River water and the relationship between CAP and the City of Mesa. He also discussed:
- Importance of moving water – Every drop of CAP water comes from the Colorado River. Through the CAP aqueduct, water is pumped uphill, against gravity, making CAP not only an engineering marvel, but also the state’s largest power consumer.
- CAP System Use Agreement – This agreement authorizes the use of the CAP canal system to implement the final pieces of a water banking program; resolves issues related to wheeling non-project water in the CAP system; and develops a priority order for use of CAP system capacity and the ability of long-term contract holders, like Mesa, to exchange portions of their allocation with CAP or another party.
- Structural Deficit – CAP has been working with the federal government, other Colorado River basin states and Mexico to address the imbalance between supply and demand on the Colorado River. Essentially, more water has been being pulled from the lake than is being replenished – roughly 1.2 million acre feet/year, which has resulted in a drop on the lake of 12 feet per year.
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