HAER No. AZ-22, Western Canal, South Side of Salt River, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona: Photographs, Written Historical and Descriptive Data, Reduced Copies of Drawings
Author(s): Fred Andersen
Together, Historic American Engineering Records (HAER) Nos. AZ-22 and AZ-23 present a written historical summary and relevant historical documentation about the construction and use of the Western Canal and the Highline Canal, which are waterways that serve Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, and parts of south Phoenix, Arizona on the south side of the Salt River. This report, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. AZ-22, presents a narrative history of both canals and their infrastructure features. It also includes photographs, drawings, and maps of the Western Canal. HAER AZ-23 (see https://core.tdar.org/document/393530) presents photographs, drawings, and maps of the Highline Canal.
The Western Canal provides water for agricultural, industrial, and municipal uses to portions of eastern Mesa, south Tempe, and south Phoenix, near the base of the Salt River (South) Mountains. The construction of the canal resulted from the Reclamation Service's inability to purchase the Tempe Canal, in an effort to improve drainage for south Tempe agricultural fields. From 1911 to 1912, Reclamation worked to connect feeders from the Consolidated Canal in Mesa (the Peck, Wallace, and Pine Feeders) to the Kyrene Branch Canal in south Tempe and the Wormser Branch Canal in south Phoenix. After a funding delay, the Western Canal Company completed construction under Reclamation's supervision. Simultaneously, in 1912, the Highline Canal Construction Company formed to build and mange a canal that would deliver water to agricultural interests and residents on the southern and eastern slopes of the Salt River (South) Mountains. From 1912 to 1914, the company constructed the Highline Canal and Pump.
Both the Western and Highline Canals continue to supply water to the southeastern portions of the Salt River Valley, and are long-standing features on the landscape. The canal right-of-ways have also been transformed into recreational spaces, which include bike and pedestrian trails and canal-side parks.
Cite this Record
HAER No. AZ-22, Western Canal, South Side of Salt River, Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona: Photographs, Written Historical and Descriptive Data, Reduced Copies of Drawings, 22. Fred Andersen. 1990 ( tDAR id: 437898) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8437898
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Calendar Date: 1911 to 1913 (Dates of construction for the Western Canal.)
min long: -112.263; min lat: 33.254 ; max long: -111.607; max lat: 33.511 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Contact(s): Salt River Project Cultural Resource Manager
Prepared By(s): Salt River Project
Submitted To(s): U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
HAER No.(s): AZ-22
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