Salt-Gila (Fannin-McFarland) Aqueduct

Part of: Central Arizona Project

The Salt-Gila (Fannin-McFarland) Aqueduct is a feature of the Central Arizona Project designed to bring Colorado River water into the interior of the state. It consists of 57.5 miles of open, concrete-lined canal, one major siphon, and four pumping plants. A transmission system links the pumping plants (Salt-Gila, Brady, Picacho, and Red Rock) to power provided by the Navajo Generating Station, near Page, Arizona. The Salt-Gila system is divided into four units, or reaches, which facilitated the organization and administration of the various construction phases of the project. Reach 1 ran from the Salt-Gila Pumping Plant to an area just south of US 60. Reach 2 extended from the terminus at Reach 1 south to Queen Creek. Reach 3 began on the northern banks of Queen Creek and traveled south to the Gila River, just west of Ashurst-Hayden Diversion Dam. Reach 4 extended from the Gila River south to its terminus near the Picacho Mountains.

The Salt-Gila (Fannin-McFarland) Aqueduct project provided the unprecedented opportunity for an extended, large-scale archaeological study of the later periods of Hohokam occupation and of the little known Archaic occupation of central Arizona. The project was organized around a series of tasks and problem oriented analyses that were guided by a consistent, explicit research orientation.

Archaeological investigations of the Salt-Gila Aqueduct began in 1968, the year in which construction of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) was authorized by the Colorado River Basin Act (P.L. 90-537). Two feasibility alignment surveys (Dittert, Fish and Simonis 1969; Kayser and Fiero 1969) provided data for the general programmatic environmental statements on the Central Arizona Project (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation 1972). These data were supplemented by two additional survey and evaluative testing projects (Grady 1973; Stein 1979) completed by the Arizona State Museum (ASM). Ultimately the ASM undertook a massive data recovery project at 45 sites along the Salt-Gila Aqueduct, the results of which were published in a nine volume series (ASM Archaeological Series 150) that was completed in 1985.

Following construction of the Salt-Gila (Fannin-McFarland) Aqueduct, Reclamation established a database of archaeological resources within the CAP right-of-way based on the original Class III survey data. An unknown number of these sites were either destroyed by construction or excavation, while others are no longer located within the CAP right-of-way. In 2005, Reclamation began hiring cultural resource management firms to revisit and reevaluate archaeological resources located within its right-of-way and obtain up to date data on site eligibility and condition.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-42 of 42)

Cultural Resources Assessment of 117 Archaeological Sites for the Fannin-McFarland and Tucson Aqueducts, Central Arizona Project Canal, Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties, Arizona Cultural Resources Assessment of 22 Archaeological Sites Located Along Reaches 1 and 2 of the Fannin-McFarland Portion of the CAP Canal Cultural Resources Assessment of 23 Archaeological Sites Located Along Reach 3 of the Fannin-McFarland Portion of the CAP Canal Cultural Resources Assessment of 28 Archaeological Sites Located Along Reach 4 of the Fannin-McFarland Portion of the CAP Canal Individual Resources Salt-Gila (Fannin-McFarland) Aqueduct Central Arizona Project Mapping and Assessment Salt-Gila Aqueduct (Fannin-McFarland Aqueduct) Archaeological Data Collection Studies and Supplemental Class III Survey Project