The Colorado River Aqueduct
, or CRA
, is a water conveyance in Southern California
in the United States
, operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
(MWD). The aqueduct impounds water from the Colorado River
at Lake Havasu
on the California-Arizona
border west across the Mojave
deserts to the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains
. It is one of the primary sources of drinking water
for Southern California.
Originally conceived by William Mulholland
and designed by Chief Engineer Frank E. Weymouth of the MWD, it was the largest public works project 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 system is composed of two reservoirs, five pumping stations, of canals, of tunnels, and of buried conduit and siphons. Average annual throughput is .
The Colorado River Aqueduct begins at Parker Dam
on the Colorado River
. There, the water is pumped up the Whipple Mountains
where the water emerges and begins flowing through of siphons and open canals on the southern Mojave Desert. At Iron Mountain
, the water is again lifted, . the aqueduct then turns southwest towards the Eagle Mountains
. There the water is lifted two more times, first by to an elevation of more than , then by to an elevation of above sea level. The CRA then runs through the deserts of the Coachella Valley
and... Read More