Colorado River Aqueduct - Route


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 60 mi (97 km) of siphons and open canals on the southern Mojave Desert. At Iron Mountain, the water is again lifted, 144 ft (44 m). the aqueduct then turns southwest towards the Eagle Mountains. There the water is lifted two more times, first by 438 ft (134 m) to an elevation of more than 1,400 ft (430 m), then by 441 ft (134 m) to an elevation of 1,800 ft (550 m) above sea level. The CRA then runs through the deserts of the Coachella Valley and through the San Gorgonio Pass. Near Cabazon, the aqueduct begins to run underground until it enters the San Jacinto Tunnel at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. On the other side of the mountains the aqueduct continues to run underground until it reaches the terminus at Lake Mathews. From there, 156 mi (251 km) of distribution lines, along with eight more tunnels, delivers water to member cities. Some of the water is siphoned off in San Jacinto via the San Diego canal, part of the San Diego Aqueduct that delivers water to San Diego County.

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