Community News

Grand Canyon News Release : National Park Service Seeks Public Input on the Trans-Canyon Water Distribution Pipeline Project at Grand Canyon National Park

July 5, 2017

 Grand Canyon, AZ- The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on a proposal to replace the obsolete Trans-Canyon Water Distribution Pipeline (Pipeline). The analysis of the project to replace the Pipeline and development of alternatives through an environmental assessment (EA) is required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

 "The Pipeline is critical to the operation of the park and is the only infrastructure we have to distribute water from our water supply to the South Rim,"said Christine Lehnertz, superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. "We invite the public to share ideas and insights about our preliminary proposal, and other approaches the park could consider."

Opened in 1965 and designed to last for 40 years, the Pipeline delivers water from Roaring Springs on the north side of the Grand Canyon, across the bottom of the canyon and up to the South Rim.

The Pipeline leaks regularly and has serious breaks each year that often force the it to be shut down for repairs. Pipeline breaks in the remote canyon, accessible only by helicopter or trail, take days or weeks to repair. There have been more than 80 Pipeline breaks since 2010.

 There are currently two proposals identified to address the purpose of the Pipeline:

  • Replace the old Pipeline with a new Pipeline along its existing route from the current intake system at Roaring Springs to the Indian Garden Pump Station. From there, the existing Pipeline would continue to deliver water to the South Rim storage tanks.
  • Install a new water intake system near Bright Angel Creek at Phantom Ranch, replace the Pipeline from Phantom Ranch to Indian Garden Pump Station, build water treatment facilities at Phantom Ranch, Indian Garden and the South Rim Village. The existing Pipeline would continue to deliver water to the South Rim storage tanks from Indian Garden. A smaller diameter pipe would be installed from Roaring Springs to serve the Cottonwood Campgrounds.


The Park's current preference for the proposed action is to install the new water intake near Bright Angel Creek, construct water treatment facilities, and replace the pipe between Phantom Ranch and Indian Garden, but no decision has been made yet.

 Public comments on the proposals will be accepted for 30 days (closing Aug. 7). Comments that provide insights about the project purpose and the park's current proposal would be particularly useful. New ideas and proposals are also welcome. Following the public comment period, the NPS will analyze and consider all feedback and begin the preparation of the EA.


The NPS will not select an alternative for implementation until after the analysis of the alternatives and their potential impacts has been completed. There will be a second opportunity for public comment on the draft document in 2018.


Any individual or group can submit scoping comments electronically, in person at public scoping open house events, or via the U.S. Postal Service.


A public scoping newsletter with project details, preliminary alternatives, and instructions for how to comment online are available at .


Written comments via the U.S. Postal Service should be sent to:

Grand Canyon National Park

Attn: Trans-Canyon Water Distribution Pipeline EA,

Post Office Box 129,

Grand Canyon, AZ 86023


Public Scoping Open House

Monday July 17, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. MST (Arizona)

Shrine of the Ages

Grand Canyon Village

Grand Canyon, AZ 86023


Public Scoping Open House

Tuesday, July 18, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. MST (Arizona)

DoubleTree by Hilton

1175 W Route 66

Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Public Scoping Webinar

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. MST (Arizona)

Registration Information 

Webinar participants will make comments at the planning website.