The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is a 336 mile (541 km) bypass channel in Arizona, in the southern United States. It was designed to provide water to nearly one million acres of areas of irrigated indigenous and non-indigenous farmland in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, as well as municipal water for several communities in Arizona, including the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas. In 1971, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) was created to manage and operate the physical system and reimburse the federal government for reimbursable construction costs. The CAP is an impressive feat of engineering that diverts water from the Colorado River at the Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge, in the southern part of Lake Havasu, near Parker, to central and southern Arizona.
Its goal is to transport an annual average of 1.2 million acre-feet of Arizona's right to Colorado River water to central Arizona. The water is then pumped through 14 water pumping plants before it reaches its destination. The CAP is a major achievement for the state of Arizona. It provides 80% of the state's population with its largest supply of renewable water. It has enabled businesses to grow and communities to thrive.
Nearly 500 professionals are responsible for system maintenance and operations, reimbursement obligations, public outreach, and participation in water resource management programs for Arizona. The Central Arizona Project is a testament to the power of collaboration and determination. It supplies water to businesses, irrigates crops and maintains homes, all of which are critical to the quality of life in Arizona. This project has been a major success story for the state and has allowed many communities to flourish.