$224 Million to Fund Indian Water Rights Settlements Coming to Tribes Across Arizona from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly provides tribes across Arizona $224 million to fully fund Indian Water Rights Settlements
WASHINGTON – $224 million will be invested in tribes across Arizona to fully fund Indian Water Rights Settlements from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly provides $2.5 billion in funding to complete all currently-authorized Indian Water Rights Settlements. Today, the Department of Interior announced $224 million for building out the infrastructure needed for the Southern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement with the Tohono O’odham Nation, completing the Gila River Indian Community Water Rights Settlement, and funding the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s Water Rights Settlement.
“Our bipartisan infrastructure law directly invests in tribes’ economic and water security by fully funding Indian Water Rights Settlements in Arizona and across the country. Our historic investments will strengthen water systems, update critical infrastructure, and create jobs,” said Sinema, co-author and negotiator of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law.
“Securing Arizona’s water future means ensuring the federal government follows through on its commitment to our tribal communities. It’s why I worked in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fully fund Arizona tribal water settlements, which will benefit our entire state’s water supply while also completing water infrastructure projects needed for tribal communities to access clean, reliable drinking water now and for generations to come,” said Sen. Kelly, a co-author of the tribal water settlement provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“The water rights funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding is historic and will have an immediate impact in the Community by accelerating irrigation projects that will create approximately 200 jobs. The Gila River Indian Community appreciates Senators Sinema and Kelly’s strong advocacy to include water infrastructure funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and looks forward to continuing to work together to address the water and drought conditions in Arizona and along the Colorado River,” said Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Gila River Indian Community.
“Settling Indian water rights claims is a priority for the State of Arizona. The funding announced today is critical to fulfilling the obligations in tribal water rights settlements to provide water and economic opportunity to Tribes in our state,” said Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke.
Sinema led bipartisan Senate negotiations with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that included Senator Kelly and senators from both parties.
In addition to fully funding Indian Water Rights Settlements, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law provides $3.5 billion for Tribal water and sanitation infrastructure and resiliency and $2 billion to expand high-speed broadband in Tribal communities.
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law makes the strongest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in U.S. history, delivering clean water to millions of American families – and more than $8 billion to strengthen water infrastructure throughout the American West, such as aging infrastructure, water storage, water recycling, drought contingency plans, and damn safety. This funding specifically includes $300 million over the next five years for water reclamation operations under the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan. Of this funding, $250 million is for the Bureau of Reclamation to create or conserve 100,000 acre feet of water annually for the Lower Colorado River Basin at Lake Mead.
The bipartisan infrastructure law was supported by groups including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, The National Association of Manufacturers, The AFL-CIO, The National Retail Federation, The Bipartisan Policy Center, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the Outdoor Industry Association, The American Hotel and Lodging Association, The National Education Association, as well as hundreds of mayors across all 50 states.