Home Regions Arizona

Central Arizona Project: A Vision for Arizona

In the early 20th century, Arizona’s leaders knew the state’s future depended on a water supply that was secure, stable and renewable. They pursued that vision; the result was Central Arizona Projects (CAP), a 336-mile system that brings Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona, is the state’s single largest renewable water supply and serves 80% of the state’s population.


An Engineering Marvel

Construction of the $4 billion CAP system began in 1973 and was completed 20 years later. It is an engineering marvel that pumps nearly 500 billion gallons of water uphill each year. The system includes 14 pumping plants, one hydroelectric pump/generating plant at New Waddell Dam, Lake Pleasant storage reservoir, 39 radial gate structures to control the flow of water and more than 50 turnouts to deliver water.


Important to Communities and Industries

CAP has more than 80 long-term water users that fall into three user groups: municipal and industrial, agricultural and Native American tribes. These users depend on CAP’s delivery of Colorado River water to water crops, run businesses and operate communities.

Key to our Economy

CAP’s delivery of reliable, renewable Colorado River water means Arizona’s economy is stronger and residents enjoy a higher quality of life. In the past 30 years, Colorado River water has generated nearly $2 trillion of Arizona’s gross state product. Without the water delivered by CAP, large sectors of the state’s economy would not exist.

Protecting and Preserving Arizona’s Water Supply

Central Arizona Project has a long history of hard work and collaboration to protect the health of the Colorado River system, manage CAP’s Colorado River allocation and plan for the future. CAP will continue to collaborate with federal and state agencies and stakeholders to ensure that future generations of Arizonans have a water supply that is secure and reliable.