Inflation Reduction Act Includes $4 Billion Secured by Sen. Kelly, Western Senators to Combat Drought 

Recently, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, along with a coalition of western senators, secured $4 billion for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in the Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 which will help Arizona and Colorado River basin states mitigate climate-driven drought.

The Kelly-secured funding can be used by Reclamation to compensate farmers who voluntarily reduce their water deliveries under short-term or multi-year agreements, as well as projects that conserve water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Funding would also be available to mitigate the environmental effects of shrinking inland waterbodies like the Salton Sea and the Great Salt Lake. The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow.

“We’re glad to have secured $4 billion in funding in the Inflation Reduction Act which will not only help Arizona secure its water future but will provide Arizona farmers, cities, and tribal communities with more tools to develop long-term solutions as we work to combat the impact of this historic western drought,” said Senator Kelly.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Environment and Public Works, Kelly has worked across the aisle to deliver on his commitment to secure critical resources that will better secure Arizona’s water future. The Senate also recently passed the Kelly-shaped Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which authorizes up to $200 million for water infrastructure projects in Arizona, provides the Army Corps with new authorities to carry out drought-related projects, and will keep Arizonans safe from floods by authorizing the Army Corps to work with counties to repair aging dams which protect communities, airports, and military installations from stormwater floods. 

Kelly was also recently named the “Groundwater Protector of the Year,” an honor given by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) each year to one member of Congress who goes above and beyond in the protection of and advocacy for groundwater. Kelly is the first Arizona member of Congress to receive the award.

Here is what leaders said about Kelly’s work to secure this funding:

“I want to thank Senator Kelly for securing $4 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to help us combat drought in Arizona and the Colorado River basin. This investment is the latest example of his continued leadership and commitment to securing Arizona’s water future. Our water resources are crucial to ensuring that our communities, small businesses, and local economies continue to thrive. We are grateful to have him as a partner in this effort,” said Cheryl Lombard, President and CEO of Valley Partnership.

“Few leaders have done more to secure Arizona’s water future than Senator Mark Kelly,” said National Ground Water Association CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC. “We applaud his work to secure $4 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to combat historic drought in Arizona and the West.”

“We are grateful for Senator Kelly’s leadership in securing $4 billion to combat drought in the Inflation Reduction Act. This investment will help Tucsonans and many communities across the west protect our precious water resources and ensure we are more climate resilient,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.

“Thank you, Senator Mark Kelly, for your leadership on climate resilience and for helping to secure $4 billion to tackle drought in Arizona and the Southwest. We appreciate your partnership,” said Dan Stellar, State Director for the Nature Conservancy in Arizona.