WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today introduced the bipartisan DRIP Act with Republican Senator John Cornyn (TX). The legislation equips communities in Arizona, and across the country, to address drought conditions and strengthen water supplies. Congressmen Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1) and David Schweikert (AZ-6) introduced the same bill in the U.S. House.
“Arizona’s future depends on securing our water supply. Our legislation ensures Arizona has the resources to address drought conditions and restore our waterways so we can continue expanding opportunities across our state,” said Sinema.
“I’m very grateful to Senator Sinema for introducing the DRIP Act. This legislation could serve Buckeye, the state of Arizona and the southwest, greatly. Salt Cedar trees have inundated the Gila River to the point where they have dammed the river expanding the floodplain and creating the severe threat of flood. The Salt Cedars have also crowded out the native vegetation species in the river creating the threat of a severe fire. Eradicating Salt Cedars could also conserve thousands of acre feet of water annually, as well as restore critical to wildlife habitat. Thank you Senator Sinema for your time and effort in introducing the DRIP Act,” said the City of Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck.
“The DRIP Act would provide much-needed resources to restore and protect our waterways, as well as boost the reliability of our water supplies for people and birds in the arid West. We are grateful to Senator Sinema for introducing this legislation that will benefit generations to come.” Haley Paul, Policy Manager for Audubon Arizona, the state office for National Audubon Society.
“Arizona is highly prone to drought and wildfires that have devastating effects on communities throughout our state and in the First Congressional District. Invasive salt cedars exacerbate these conditions.” said O’Halleran. “I am proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation to help alleviate the risks posed by these non-native plants, mitigate associated flooding hazards, and protect our wildlife and natural resources. Above all, this bill will improve drought conditions and protect our water supply, allowing more water to remain in streams.”
“The Desert Southwest knows the importance of water conservation and working to ensure our resources are protected. By implementing innovative practices to combat drought conditions, we are taking the right step into the technology revolution surrounding us. I am pleased to see this bill retain bipartisan support from Members and I hope we are able to help get this across the finish line this Congress,” said Schweikert.
During her time in the U.S. Senate, Sinema has worked to advance commonsense solutions to secure Arizona’s water future. Earlier this year, Sinema helped get the Drought Contingency Plan across the finish line in the Senate. Sinema also cosponsored the bipartisan Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act, which allows Arizona cities, tribes, and water providers access to critical funding to secure the state’s water future.