Following Sinema’s Success, White Mountain Apache Tribe Hosts Senator to Celebrate New Law Ensuring Tribe’s Access to Clean Drinking Water

Mar 6, 2023

Sinema ushered the White Mountain Apache Water Rights Quantification Act into law, which was previously excluded from the end-of-year bipartisan budget legislation

WHITERIVER – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema visited the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to celebrate the success of her White Mountain Apache Water Rights Quantification Act with members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Now law, the Senator’s legislation ensures the Tribe’s access to clean, reliable drinking water by supporting the completion of the Tribe’s Rural Water System and Miner Flat Dam project.
“I’m incredibly proud that we delivered this long-awaited win for the White Mountain Apache Tribe. Now that the legislation is law, we’re delivering lasting solutions guaranteeing the Tribe’s access to safe, reliable drinking water for generations to come,” said Sinema.
Sinema’s legislation was originally excluded from last year’s government funding package, but through direct bipartisan negotiations with Senate and House colleagues, Sinema ensured unanimous passage and sent her bill to the President’s desk.
In January, after the White Mountain Apache Water Rights Quantification Act was signed into law, White Mountain Apache Chairman Kasey Velasquez sent Sinema a letter thanking her for leading the critical legislation through Congress. Sinema previously met with Chairman Velasquez in October 2022 to discuss the legislation’s impact on the Tribe’s water future.
Unforeseen technical delays and cost-overruns have led to the need to extend the original deadline set by Congress for constructing the project. Sinema’s law grants the time and resources necessary to finish the project and deliver clean, reliable drinking water to tribal members.
Sinema’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law – which she wrote, negotiated, and led into law – fully funds all currently-authorized Indian Water Rights Settlements.
Click HERE to see more photos of Sinema’s visit to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.