Unlike most desert cities, Phoenix gets annual floods. This water comes from one of the largest watersheds in the world, the uplifted area just northeast of the valley. For thousands of years, snow and rain that fell on that watershed suddenly came rushing down through the Salt River and ultimately emptied out in the Gulf of California, and it still does. And in addition to that, Phoenix gets regular torrential thunderstorms each summer, commonly referred to as *monsoons*.
The problem, of course, was how to control this water, put it in reservoirs, and avoid flooding. And people have been working on that since the Hohokams, with limited success. The photo above is the 1972 flood, which filled up the I-17 freeway. Yes, that's the freeway.
|1891 flood, Phoenix, Arizona|
No, there is no lack of water in the Phoenix area. But this doesn't mean that you should waste it. It costs a lot of money to store, clean, and deliver that water. It all happens *behind the scenes* by people who make sure that you can take a shower in the morning. And those same people work to make sure that you don't have to drive through a lake to get to work!
|1915 flood, Glendale, Arizona|
|Flooded house in Phoenix, 1963|