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Canal safety tips

Canal safety is always top of mind at SRP; and it’s 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 desert climate.

Despite how calm the water in canals may appear on the surface, there are often unseen fast-moving currents below. In addition, the sloped sidings of canals are extremely slick and difficult to climb. It is important to be aware of safety precautions when recreating near canals. 

Canal safety tips

Canals can be dangerous, so please follow these tips to avoid drowning or injury: 

  • Keep a safe distance from the edges of the canals.  
  • Never swim in canals! 
  • Teach children about canal safety.  
  • Never jump in to rescue pets or objects such as toys. Call 911 for help instead. 
  • Keep clothing away from canal edges and fencing to avoid any snags or tripping hazards.
  • Stay away from automated equipment at water delivery gates.
  • 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. 

What purpose do the canals serve?

Canals move water to homes, farms and businesses for irrigation and to municipalities 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 map. Fishing is also permitted with a valid Arizona fishing license; however, the white amur fish are catch–and–release only. You can also enjoy a hidden waterfall located at Arizona Falls!

Safely enjoy Arizona canals

Discover a new favorite activity or location along the canals.

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