Sinema, Gila River Indian Community Governor Discuss Arizona’s Ongoing Drought

Jul 18, 2022

Senator secured a historic $8.3 billion to address drought and Western water infrastructure in her bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema hosted a call with Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis to discuss Arizona’s ongoing drought. The discussion comes on the heels of the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) announcement that Colorado River Basin states must drastically conserve water to preserve critical levels at Lakes Mead and Powell.
“I’m forever grateful for the Community’s efforts to conserve water and be a regional leader on drought and water security. I’m glad to count Governor Lewis as a trusted partner as we continue working to safeguard our water future and implement the historic investments addressing Arizona’s drought from our infrastructure law,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
Late last month, BOR announced that states encompassing the Colorado River Basin would have to conserve two to four million acre-feet of water in 2023 to preserve critical levels at Lakes Mead and Powell. Arizona’s annual Colorado River allocation is 2.8 million acre-feet. The Bureau has set mid-August as the deadline for the Basin states to reach an agreement on the emergency conservation needs. 
During the meeting, Sinema pledged to work with the Basin negotiators to reach a positive deal that protects Arizona and the Gila River Indian Community and supports the long-term health of the river.
Sinema’s bipartisan infrastructure law invests in strengthening and upgrading critical water systems and addresses drought with $250 million for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to create or conserve 100,000 acre-feet of water annually for the Lower Colorado River Basin at Lake Mead.
Earlier this year, Sinema announced that a $82.8 million investment from her law was coming to Arizona specifically to strengthen water systems and environmental infrastructure. Additionally, Sinema announced that over $50.5 million will be invested in Arizona in 2022 for critical drought relief measures from her bipartisan infrastructure law. 
Click HERE to learn more about how Sinema’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law impacts water systems and drought resilience.