Water for the Valley of the Sun

by William W. Reedy, (F.ASCE), Chf.; Div. of Planning Technical Services, Water and Power Resources Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Denver, Colo. (retired Feb., 1980),

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 477-492

Document Type: Journal Paper


Water development in the Salt River Valley of south-central Arizona has progressed from the simple irrigation canals of prehistoric Hohokam Indians to a complex network of public and private facilities supplying agricultural and urban needs. In the modern era, several private canals were built prior to 1900, but construction of a dam to store spring runoff was beyond private financing capability. Federal financial assistance through the Reclamation Act pf 1902 made possible the construction of Theodore Roosevelt Dam and other needed facilities. The Salt River Valley Water Users Association, which took over operation of the project in 1917, has built five more dams, three of which have appurtenant hydroelectric powerplants, three steam-electric generating plants, and 250 ground-water wells. Local surface water supplies are essentially developed and the ground-water reservoir is being rapidly depleted. The Federal Central Arizona Project, now under construction, will bring water from the Colorado River to help relieve the imbalance between demand and supply.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Water supply systems | Rivers and streams | Private sector | Dams | Water management | Canals | Public buildings | Arizona | United States | Colorado River

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