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Colorado River Aqueduct

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Colorado River Aqueduct

The Colorado River Aqueduct is a 242-mi (392 km) diversion canal in southern California in the United States. The aqueduct diverts water from the Colorado River along the California-Arizona west across the Mojave and Colorado deserts to the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains . The aqueduct is operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) as one of the primary sources of drinking water in southern California.

Description

The aqueduct begins at the Parker Dam on the Colorado southeast of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It crosses the southern Mojave Desert, skirting around several small mountain ranges and the southern edge of Joshua Tree National Park. It enters the Coachella Valley north of the Salton Sea and flows northwest along the Little San Bernardino Mountains. It crosses the San Jacinto Mountains west of Palm Springs and terminates at Lake Matthews in western Riverside County, from whence it is distributed to multiple communities in the MWD region.

The aqueduct was constructed between 1933-1941 by the MWD to ensure a steady supply of drinking water to Los Angeles and surrounding communities. Designed by Chief Enginner Frank E. Weymouth of the MWD, it was the largest public works product in southern California during the Great Depression. The project employed 30,000 people over an eight-year period and as many as 10,000 at one time.

The construction of the aqueduct is widely credited as being a principal reason for the industrial growth of the region during World War II and the following decades. In 1992, the aqueduct was recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as one of the seven "wonders" of the American engineering world.

Colorado River system
Dams and aqueducts (see US Bureau of Reclamation)
Shadow Mountain Dam | Granby Dam | Glen Canyon Dam | Hoover Dam | Davis Dam | Parker Dam | Palo Verde Diversion Dam | Imperial Dam | Laguna Dam | Morelos Dam | Colorado River Aqueduct | San Diego Aqueduct | Central Arizona Project Aqueduct | All-American Canal | Coachella Canal | Redwall Dam
Natural features
Colorado River | Rocky Mountains | Colorado River Basin | Grand Lake | Sonoran desert | Mojave desert | Imperial Valley | Colorado Plateau | Grand Canyon | Glen Canyon | Marble Canyon | Paria Canyon | Gulf of California/Sea of Cortez | Salton Sea
Tributaries
Dirty Devil River | Dolores River | Escalante River | Gila River | Green River | Gunnison River | Kanab River | Little Colorado River | Paria River | San Juan River | Virgin River
Major reservoirs
Fontenelle Reservoir | Flaming Gorge Reservoir | Taylor Park Reservoir | | Navajo Reservoir | Lake Powell | Lake Mead | Lake Havasu
Dependent states
Arizona | California | Colorado | Nevada | New Mexico | Utah (See: Colorado River Compact)
Designated areas
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area | Lake Mead National Recreation Area


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