Central Arizona Project Tours West Slope

From June 26 to the 29, the Colorado River District hosted eight board and four staff members from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for a four-day tour of Colorado’s Western Slope.

A 336-mile water delivery system serving nearly 6 million people in the Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties of Arizona – more than 80% of the state’s population, CAP is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors, all of whom serve six-year terms and must be elected to the position. Along with strengthening relationships with our partners in the Lower Division states, this tour aimed to highlight the unique attributes of agriculture, infrastructure, and water rights administration that make up the fabric of our headwaters communities, especially as they differ from systems in Arizona and the other Lower Division states.

The tour was jam-packed, with the itinerary focused on the mainstem Colorado and Gunnison Rivers, over 30 speakers and 20 stops throughout Mesa, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose and Delta counties. Hosts and guest speakers throughout the tour focused on a number of similar themes, namely: the challenges of living within the hydrology on Colorado’s Western Slope, the complexities of water administration in the Upper Basin, and how water users are adapting to a rapidly changing climate with aging infrastructure.

A cross-disciplinary team at the River District worked closely with CAP staff to ensure CAP board members would hear from diverse voices representing our partners in agriculture, environmental groups, federal operations, and local water management leadership.

Check out some of the highlights from the tour below:

  • Spring Creek Fire starting near the highway despite a 'wet' spring