McCain, ASU Working On Project To Fill Dry Salt River

Published: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 2:56pm
Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 3:25pm

(Photo courtesy of ASU)
Sen. John McCain talks with ASU students about Rio Salado 2.0.

Have you ever heard the story of the Great Papago Escape?

During World War II in 1944, 25 Germans who were being held as prisoners of war at Papago Park here in Phoenix escaped. They looked at a map of the area and saw the Salt River, or Rio Salado, on it.

So they built a raft, hoping to float down the river and out of danger.

But Salt River is dry so it didn’t work so well. They abandoned the raft and they were all eventually recaptured.

But now our state’s senior senator is working on a project that would fill the dry riverbed with water.

The project has been dubbed Rio Salado 2.0, and Sen. John McCain is working on it with Arizona State University and other stakeholders.

The idea is to fill the river with water and develop it, all the way from the Granite Reef Dam in Mesa through Tempe Town Lake to the Tres Rios Wetlands in the West Valley.

For more on this, I sat down with Duke Reiter, who advises ASU President Michael Crow and is the executive director of ASU’s University/City Exchange.

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