More than a century of developments
The history of your water dates from the late 1800s when wells were drilled
to serve the few thousand pioneers who had settled in the Phoenix area. Many
changes have taken place since then. Today, the City of Phoenix provides water
for about 1.5 million residents, delivered over an area of 540 square miles. You
can find out more about the historical developments in your water system by
clicking on a year below.Late 1800's
Pioneers began to settle the Salt River
City of Phoenix was
officially incorporated. The population was approximately 1,708
Several wells were
drilled to form the first private water company, known as the Phoenix Water
Works Company near 9th Street and Van Buren. The system provided 2 million
gallons/day through an 8-mile system of pipes.
Reclamation Act was signed – the law that resulted in the creation of Salt River
Project and several dams on the Salt River.
July 1, 1907, the City officially took over operation
of the Phoenix Water Company at a cost of $150,000. Learn more about
our 100 years of water services.
Construction of the 38-inch diameter redwood pipeline
began. The pipeline would carry water about 30 miles to Phoenix from the Verde
River. City officials sought out a source of surface water for municipal use
that was derived from pure melting snow and rainwater. Surface water from the
Salt River was considered too salty.
Water from the
Verde River began to flow to Phoenix customers.
Wells were drilled
near the Verde River pipeline intake.
Construction began on a new 42-inch diameter concrete
water line from the Verde River and a 20-million gallon reservoir.
The Verde Water
Treatment Plant was completed and began delivering water to Phoenix. The plant
operated through the end of 2011.
The gates to
Horseshoe Dam were completed providing an additional 23,000 acre-feet of water
City of Phoenix
signed a contract with Salt River Project (SRP) known as the domestic water
service agreement. The City constructed a water treatment plant on the Arizona
Canal near 24th Street. The plant, which was then known as the Squaw Peak water
Treatment Plant, now the 24th Street Water Treatment Plant began delivering
water to residents.
The Phoenix water system began expansion into the
northern, western, and southern areas of the City that had recently undergone
annexation. The City receives authorization for enhancements to the water system
included an expansion of the Squaw Peak Water Treatment Plant and the
construction of a new reservoir.
The City purchased
land near the Arizona Canal to build what would soon become the Deer Valley
Water Treatment Plant. The City authorized an expansion of the Squaw Peak Water
Treatment Plant and the addition of more reservoirs. The City continued to
purchase private water companies and add service connections.
The Deer Valley
Water Treatment Plant began delivering water to residents. Total water
production capacity for the City reached 360 million gallons per day.
The law was signed
that paved the way for the Central Arizona Project (CAP) to begin. It would take
another 12 years for Colorado River water to reach Phoenix.
the CAP began.
The Val Vista Water
Treatment Plant was completed and began delivering water to residents of Phoenix
Groundwater Management Act was created. This act restricted Phoenix's ability to
pump groundwater as freely as before. Because of the completion of the CAP in
the Phoenix area, the City would now have a third surface water source.
The Union Hills
Water Treatment Plant, the first to treat CAP water, was completed. The Arizona
Legislature created the legal authority for water recharge projects.
Phoenix joined a
group of other Valley cities to negotiate improvements to dam safety with a
project known as "Plan 6." It included adding height to Roosevelt Dam and
constructing the New Waddell Dam to increase water storage at Lake Pleasant. The
Valley cities received rights to floodwaters that might be captured by the
modified structures. CAP began construction projects that would allow Arizona to
store excess Colorado River water in the ground for future use.
The Lake Pleasant
area was chosen as a possible location for a future plant that would use CAP
water. The finished water supply would be delivered mostly through gravity,
reducing electrical pumping costs.
Interconnect enabled Valley cities to construct the Granite Reef Underground
Storage Project (GRUSP) downstream of the Interconnect in the Salt River. The
Interconnect allows Valley cities to accept CAP water into the SRP system,
providing even more flexibility in treating and delivering water to Phoenix
Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant was completed and
began making deliveries to customers. Learn more about
Phoenix's 100 years of water services.