July 20, 2011
The end of the nine-mile pipeline where water flowed over the Rim through the generators and into the East Verde. The natural flow of the river is seen on the right. This picture was taken after the contract with Phelps Dodge expired and SRP halted the flow of water.
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The news of a water pipe bringing that “liquid gold” to Payson recalls the time when “the big water” first came over the Rim from, then called, the Blue Ridge Reservoir. It was 1963, and we were enjoying a late spring at our family cabin on the East Verde River. The antique apple trees on our acre, planted 80 years earlier by Mercedes Belluzzi, were in full bloom, foretelling of pies and applesauce. The waters of the river in front of our house were running twice their usual volume as the last snows melted and renewed the springs that gushed from the canyon sides.