The Transcanyon Waterline is an aging, 60s-vintage aluminum water infrastructure project that provides drinking water to people in the Grand Canyon’s heavily visited and populated South Rim area and also support local firefighting requirements. The project is rapidly reaching the end of its lifespan, and the National Park Service and Interior Department are working on efforts to replace it, including through raising park fees to fund for the replacement of old pipes and exploration of possible alternative or supplemental water sources.
- There has been a flurry of activities at the Grand Canyon this spring which visitors must have noticed.
- Test wells were being bored by the National Park Service because it wants to replace the park’s aging Transcanyon Waterline.
- The aging waterline was designed to last only some decades. It has repeatedly failed.
“The aluminum aqueduct was built in the late 1960s. At the time, it was the largest and most complex project ever undertaken by the Park Service. The pipe carries water from Roaring Springs below the North Rim 15 miles to the bottom of the canyon and across the Colorado River.”