A Bird’s Eye View of Water and Power

KinsellaBy Lois Kinsella, Class 28
Intel Corporation

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program provides its students with a bird’s eye view of the City of Scottsdale: its people, its culture and history, and the intricate infrastructure required to support it.  A lucky few recently had a different bird’s eye view – from the windows of a Bell 212 helicopter, compliments of Salt River Project (SRP).  Along with an impressive sight-seeing excursion, it was also an amazing lesson in the waterways and power sources which SRP manages across the state.

Helicopter1

Hydro, coal, methane, natural gas, desalination, surface water, drought-planning… SRP has been a leading company in the valley for decades, dating back to the reclamation act in the early 1900s for the privately-owned water division of the company, and the ‘20s for the publicly-owned power division which serves over 950K+ customers.  Legend tells that Arizona’s waterways were first designed by early native tribes, then later re-built and improved upon using ideas from people such as C.C. Cragin who came to town with a visionary design for water flow; a great challenge for a state with very low annual rainfall.  At the time he was run out of town for radical ideas which may have been simply ahead of their time, however C.C. Cragin’s has since been described and recognized as a utility artist.

Helicopter2

Our sincere thanks to our new SRP friends Mark Campbell, Jason Dudley, and our pilot John, for an impressive day – check-mark on the bucket list for taking a helicopter ride!

A few knowledge nuggets from the day:

  • If you flipped on the switch to a natural gas plant, it could be producing power in under 15 minutes.  Roughly the same time it takes to heat up my bbq to cook dinner!
  • Palo Verde Nuclear is the largest nuclear plant in the USA, and the only one which uses reclaimed water in its operations.  A great example of how water and power working together can reduce our carbon footprint.
  • There is no such thing as ‘new’ water; water is continuously recycled, cleaned using ground filtration and treatment methods, then re-used.  An insightful way to think about water…

AS SRP continues to plan ahead 20-30 years for our water needs, and 10 years ahead for our power usage, think about what you could do to make a difference TODAY!  What are your ideas?

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1 Comment

Filed under Class, Community

One response to “A Bird’s Eye View of Water and Power

  1. Andrea Kranitz

    Great blog Lois!! I like the pictures.

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