Bipartisan group of Western U.S. Senators wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture detailing urgent need for enhanced drought relief and conservation efforts in the American West
WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, along with a bipartisan group of Western senators, urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prioritize drought relief and conservation efforts aimed at combating the decades-long megadrought afflicting the American West and securing the region’s water future.
“Arizona farmers and ranchers fuel our local economy and produce much of the country’s food supply – and they worry about our water security. We’re urging the Administration to support our farmers and prioritize investing in drought relief and conservation,” said Sinema.
“As Arizona faces a historic drought, it’s critical that our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to sustain our nation’s food supply. That’s why we’re calling on the Administration to prioritize the West and ensure our ranchers and farmers receive their fair share of resources to support ongoing water conservation efforts,” said Kelly.
The senators’ letter stressed that the major basins of the American West – including Arizona’s share of the Colorado River Basin – face a 22-year mega-drought, causing uncertainty among farm and ranch families in the region. The group implored USDA to support these families to conserve water, improve Western water infrastructure, protect lands at risk of erosion, and provide technical assistance for growers affected by drought.
Sinema, Kelly, and the group of senators also recommended that USDA collaborate with state, local, and Tribal governments to ensure all needs are represented as they address drought conditions and advance conservation efforts in the West.
Between the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law – which was led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly – and the Inflation Reduction law they shaped, the senators secured more than $13 billion in drought relief and Western water funding.
Read the senators’ full letter HERE.