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Canal safety tips for recreation: Avoid turning a fun time into a real emergency

Canal safety is always top of mind for us at SRP; but right now is the perfect time of year to remind everyone to safely enjoy the Valley’s more than 80 miles of multi-use trails along the canals. From running to biking, the paths provide a perfect opportunity to enjoy our natural desert climate and the active waterways that keep Phoenix moving forward.

What is the purpose of Arizona canals?

Canals move water to homes, farms and businesses for irrigation and to cities for treatment before it arrives at your tap. Metro Phoenix has two sets of canals operated by Central Arizona Project (CAP) and SRP.

Additionally, there are canals in the East Valley operated by the Roosevelt Water Conservation District . No matter who operates or manages the canals, the aim is the same: Quickly move measured and metered quantities of water across the Valley. 

Things to do along the canals

You can walk, jog or bike along the canals using our canal distance map. Fishing is also permitted with a valid Arizona fishing license; however, the white amur fish are catch-and-release. You can also enjoy the sights at Arizona Falls and other canal interpretive sites.

Canal safety tips

Be sure to think safety first around water, and especially the canals. Canals can be dangerous, so please follow these canal safety tips to avoid drowning or injury:

  • Keep a safe distance from the edges of the canals. Canal sides are extremely slick and difficult to climb.
  • In the COVID-19 era, it’s important to keep social distancing practices in mind too.
  • Assign a water watcher to ensure you always have eyes on people near the water. Never swim in canals!
  • Make sure to teach children about canal safety. Never jump in to rescue pets or objects such as toys. Call 911 for help.
  • Keep clothing up and away from canal edges and other fencing to avoid any snags or tripping hazards. Stay away from automated equipment at water delivery gates.
  • For safety reasons, no swimming or water activities are allowed in the canals.
  • Don’t drive motorized vehicles on the canal banks (SRP authorization is required).
  • Use leashes on your pets and a safety strap to secure your child’s stroller to your person while recreating near canals.
  • Secure permission from SRP before using canal banks for any kind of event by emailing [email protected] for permit information.

Looking to enjoy a new stretch of canal? Map the trails out on our website. 

Map the trails and safely enjoy Arizona canals

Whether you’re taking in the rich history of water in the Valley along a trail or visiting Arizona Falls, remember to be safe.

1 thought on “Canal safety tips for recreation: Avoid turning a fun time into a real emergency”

  1. Pingback: Grand finish: Crews complete 131-mile canal lining effort | SRP Connect!

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