Senator introduced and secured unanimous passage of Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act through direct bipartisan negotiations last year
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema met with Hualapai Tribe Chairwoman Sherry Parker to discuss implementation of Sinema’s Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act – legislation Sinema led into law that ratifies the Hualapai Tribe’s Colorado River water settlement agreement and delivers approximately 4,000 acre-feet of water per year to the Tribe.
“Last year, we proudly passed the Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act into law. Now, we’re working with tribal leaders to implement the law, help grow a healthy economy, and get clean, reliable water to the Tribe,” said Sinema.
The Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act – championed by Sinema – was originally excluded from the end of the year government funding package, but Sinema ensured unanimous passage through direct bipartisan negotiations with her Senate colleagues. In January 2023, Sinema’s bill was signed into law.
Sinema’s law follows the Hualapai Tribe’s work for a decade to secure an agreement with the U.S. Departments of State and Interior. Sinema’s Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement law approves the 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 established the Hualapai Water Trust Fund Account and the Hualapai Water Settlement Implementation Fund Account, with $180 million and $5 million, respectively, for construction, technical assistance, and environmental compliance costs associated with the pipeline from the Colorado River. The law also authorized $48 million for Operations, Maintenance and Repair of the water system, $64 million for electrical transmission system to power the water delivery system, and $20 million for the Tribe to secure higher priority water.
Before Sinema’s law, the Hualapai Tribe relied on groundwater alone to meet their water needs – which is not a permanent or sustainable solution. Sinema’s law delivers lasting results that help meet the Tribe’s water needs.