Sinema’s meeting with Page officials comes as historically low water levels at Lake Powell threaten the city’s economic and water security
Sinema recently secured critical funding for drought mitigation in Arizona
PAGE – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with Page Mayor Bill Diak and other local leaders to discuss current economic, water, and hydropower challenges caused by historically low water levels at Lake Powell. Last week, Sinema secured $4 billion in drought mitigation funding in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act. This critical investment follows the $8 billion she secured in her bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law for drought mitigation and aging water infrastructure – crucial steps towards improving water levels at Lake Powell.
“Historically low water levels at Lake Powell threaten the water and economic security of Arizona communities, including Page. We’re working with Mayor Diak, local leaders, and members of the Page community to effectively implement historic water infrastructure and drought mitigation funds and secure Arizona’s water future so Page and neighboring communities can continue to grow and thrive,” said Sinema, co-author and negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
The record low water levels are a result of Arizona’s megadrought – which is the worst it’s been in 1,200 years. Sinema’s visit to Page follows her conversation with Mayor Diak in February, during which she pledged to work with leaders on the ground to implement historic funds from her bipartisan infrastructure law and improve shrinking water levels at Lake Powell.
Lake Powell serves as Page’s main economic driver, generating revenue largely from tourism and outdoor recreation. The low water levels and access at the Lake pose a threat to Page’s economy in addition to water use and hydropower concerns.
During the meeting, Sinema shared how the fiscal year 2023 Interior, Environment & Related Agencies appropriations bill intends to provide $1.828 billion in emergency funding for disaster recovery needs for the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs based on estimates provided by the Department of the Interior. The funding includes $320 million for Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and $153.5 million for other disaster recovery needs. Additionally, acknowledging the falling water levels at Lake Powell, the bill includes $3,432,000 for a new water intake pipeline in order to ensure a reliable water supply for Page residents.
Earlier this month, Sinema secured $4 billion for drought mitigation across the American West in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act. Last year, Sinema co-authored and led negotiations for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law, which makes historic investments in drought resilience. Specifically, Sinema secured more than $8 billion to strengthen water infrastructure throughout the American West, such as drought contingency, dam safety, aging infrastructure, water storage, water recycling, and more. This funding includes $3.2 billion for the Aging Infrastructure Account, which is of particular importance for communities like Page.
Sinema announced in January that a $82.8 million investment from her bipartisan infrastructure law was coming to Arizona, specifically to strengthen water systems and environmental infrastructure. Additionally, Sinema announced in January that over $50.5 million will be invested in Arizona in 2022 for critical drought relief measures from her bipartisan infrastructure law.
Additionally, in 2022 alone, Arizona will receive $109 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to address clean and drinking water systems, update wastewater infrastructure, and help clean-up water contaminants like PFAS in communities across the state.