As Arizona faces historic drought and in light of the Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement of new operating conditions at Lakes Mead and Powell, Sinema resolves to continue working on solutions to secure Arizona’s water future
The announcement follows Sinema’s successful efforts securing $4 billion in drought resiliency funding and the launch of her Water Advisory Council
PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema released a statement following the Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement of new operation conditions at Lakes Mead and Powell following continued drought conditions.
“Arizona’s future depends on the strength and resiliency of our water supply. As the West continues experiencing historic drought, Arizona has led the way identifying short and long term solutions while shouldering a disproportionate share of this crisis. I’m proud of our efforts securing $13 billion in drought resiliency funding over the past year, and I look forward to working with my Water Advisory Council, stakeholders from across Arizona, and leaders in our neighboring Basin States to ensure a strong and secure water future so Arizona can continue to thrive and grow,” said Sinema.
In today’s announcement, the Bureau of Reclamation reduced downstream releases from Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams, reducing the amount of water apportioned to Arizona by an additional 80,000 acre feet on top of 2022 reductions for a total of 529,000 acre-feet or 21% of Arizona’s Colorado River allocation. Sinema has questioned the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation about how they intend to achieve agreement between the Basin states for critical emergency conservation to ensure all states participate in securing the West’s water future. She will continue to hold the federal government accountable to ensure it is doing its part in mitigating the damages of drought.
Sinema recently launched her Water Advisory Council to seek feedback from water experts and stakeholders from across Arizona — including Tribal, conservation, business, and academic leaders — to develop and deliver solutions to Arizona’s ongoing drought. Members of Sinema’s Council include: Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Dr. Tom Buschatzke from the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project General Manager Ted Cooke, Christian Stumpf of The Nature Conservancy, and Arizona State University's Kyl Center for Water Policy Director Sarah Porter.
Recently, 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 $300 million over the next five years for water reclamation operations under the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan. Of this funding, $250 million is for the Bureau of Reclamation to create or conserve 100,000 acre feet of water annually for the Lower Colorado River Basin at Lake Mead.