Sinema introduced legislation delivering the Tribe’s water agreement
Sinema recently secured $4 billion for drought resiliency in the Inflation Reduction Law
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Hualapai Tribe Chairman Damon Clarke discussed Sinema’s Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act – legislation that ratifies the Hualapai Tribe’s Colorado River water settlement agreement that delivers approximately 4,000 acre-feet of water per year to the Tribe – and her efforts securing $4 billion in drought resiliency in the recently signed-into-law Inflation Reduction Act.
“Securing Arizona’s and the Hualapai Tribe’s water future is critical to our state’s economic success. I’m grateful for Chairman Clarke’s partnership and collaboration in delivering this goal,” said Sinema.
In July, Sinema introduced Chairman Clarke during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing, where the Chairman testified in support of Sinema’s Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act. Sinema’s legislation meets a historic moment after the Hualapai Tribe worked for a decade to secure an agreement with the U.S. Departments of State and Interior. Sinema’s Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act approves Hualapai Tribe’s water rights claims, as well as other allottees in Arizona, and authorizes construction of a water project related to the water rights claims – delivering 4,000-acre feet of water per year.
Additionally, Sinema’s legislation establishes the Hualapai Water Trust Fund Account and the Hualapai Water Settlement Implementation Fund Account, with $180 million and $5 million, respectively, authorized until expended. These accounts are for construction, operations and maintenance, technical assistance, and environmental compliance costs associated with the pipeline from the Colorado River.
Currently, the Hualapai Tribe relies on groundwater alone to meet their water needs – which is not a permanent or sustainable solution. Sinema’s legislation provides a solution that would help meet the Tribe’s water needs.
While negotiating the Inflation Reduction Act, Sinema personally ensured a $4 billion investment in drought resiliency for Arizona and the entire American West. Sinema would not support the Inflation Reduction Act without ensuring the legislation included adequate climate resources to secure Arizona’s water and economic future.