Arizona v. California and the Central Arizona Project

Arizona v. California and the Central Arizona Project

In the 1920s, Arizona State Senator Fred Colter dreamed of a canal to bring Colorado River water to central Arizona. Fast forward to 1951: Colter's dream canal had been renamed the Central Arizona Project, and the U.S. Senate had just approved its construction. But in 1953, before the project could be started, Arizona and California went to court over Colorado River water rights, and work on the Central Arizona Project was suspended yet again (Sheridan, 1995). 

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. When was the Colorado River Project approved? When did the Arizona v. California court case begin?
  2. Who created the documents linked above? Whose side did they take in the Arizona v. California case? Is there a bias in their writing?
  3. Who has a right to use the water from the Colorado River? What should it be used for, and why?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

For Students

For Teachers

Topic

Environment

Decade

1950s