NAWAPA XXI will tunnel into the Great Basin, and into the Colorado Basin, creating reservoirs on the tributaries of the Colorado River, feeding water into the main stem of the Colorado.

A large distribution reservoir, up to four times the size of Hoover Dam’s Lake Mead will be formed in the Little Colorado River valley. Out of this central reservoir, tunnels and canals will form three reservoirs on the tributaries of the Salt River, three reservoirs on the tributaries of the Gila River, and a large reservoir on the headwaters of the Gila itself. A tunnel will connect a reservoir formed on the Gila River to the Rio Grande Basin, crossing and supplying water to the Rio Grande River, and forming a large reservoir on the Pecos River, which will supply West Texas, and Mexico and connect to eastern Colorado.

Throughout the Colorado and Rio Grande basins, pumping costs will be eliminated, farmland restored, and with the water added to Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas alone, 14 million acres of farmland could be opened up. The average 11 MAF a year currently flowing through the Colorado River will be increased up to 100% through these added reservoirs; the Pecos and Rio Grande rivers will become full and flow year round.

Approximately 30 new reservoirs will be formed in NM, AZ, NV, UT, and CO, changing local climates, and expanding recreation. The storage capacity of the Rio Grande Basin will be doubled, from 20 MAF up to 54 MAF, a 170% increase. The Colorado Basin will be increased by up to 230%, from 61 MAF largely from Lake Mead and Lake Powell, up to 230 MAF.

A 7-MAF reservoir will also be formed 50 miles north of Las Vegas just north of Hayford Peak, in the Sheep Mountain range, distributing water to Southern Nevada and paralleling the Colorado River, supplying water to farms before continuing south to Mexico, and the Imperial Valley.