A look back: Arizona Canal

SRP AZ Canal looking east from N. Central South of Dunlap, Northern Sunnyslope area. This photo is estimated to be from the late 1940s or early 1950s.

The Arizona Canal Company began constructing the canal in 1883. That year, the Weekly Phoenix Herald declared the canal would be “one of the most extensive and valuable enterprises that our valley has yet known.” 

“The Arizona Canal will be one of the most extensive and valuable enterprises that our valley has yet known.”

Weekly Phoenix herald, 1883

At 42 miles long, the canal was indeed an extensive and impressive project. During construction, large work crews would pick up and move their camps as the work progressed, and these crews completed the canal in just two years. In 1894 the canal was lengthened by an additional 5 miles, stretching from the Granite Reef Diversion Dam in the east to roughly 75th Avenue in the west.  

The canal is still the longest within SRP’s system and boasts many miles of multiple-use paths. Valley residents and visitors can enjoy a unique experience at the Arizona Canal at this year’s Canal Convergence event, located along the Scottsdale Waterfront from Nov. 8­­–17.  



Jodi is a Historical Analyst with SRP’s Research Archives. Jodi is a native Phoenician and two-time graduate of ASU, where she earned a Master’s degree in Public History. She researches and writes about the history of water and power in the Valley.

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