Central Arizona Project – Part 2

CAP.cactusIn our last post on the Central Arizona Project, we covered the general construction of this 336-mile-long project, spanning over 20 years and 3.6 billion dollars. Today, we’ll take a look at two dams associated with the CAP; the New Waddell Dam, and the Theodore Roosevelt Dam.


Construction on the New Waddell Dam began in 1985, and the project now stands 300 ft highNWdamAZ from the riverbed and 440 ft high from its bedrock foundation, and is 35 ft wide at the top, 1,514 ft wide at the base. The dam is situated on the Agua Fria River in Maricopa County. The reservoir created as a result of the New Waddell Dam is Lake Pleasant, which has a capacity averaging at 1,108,600 acre·ft (over 361 billion gallons of water). Water from the New Waddell Dam reservoir augments supply in the CAP and helps deliver 15% more CAP water to Arizona. Water from the CAP aqueduct is also drawn into Lake Pleasant for storage lake pleasant azduring the winter months, and released during the summer months for hydroelectric power generation. By 1994, the dam’s “opening date,” the dam’s cost was in excess of $625 million.


The Theodore Roosevelt Dam is on the Salt River, creating Theodore Roosevelt Lake. Originally built between 1905 and 1911, the dam was renovated and expanded in 1989-1996. The main uses for this dam are irrigation water supply and flood control, though the dam also generates hydroelectricity.


Construction on the original Roosevelt Dam began in 1903 and was finished in 1911. TR lakeCompleted at a cost of $10 million, it was the largest masonry dam in the world for its time, standing 280 feet and 723 feet long, while Roosevelt Lake was for a time the world’s largest artificial reservoir. In 1989, the dam was resurfaced with concrete, and its height was raised to 357 feet, which increased the storage capacity of Roosevelt Lake by roughly 20%. The renovation project was TR Dam AZcompleted in 1996 at a cost of $430 million.