Kelly Praises Announcement of 500+ Plan for Lake Mead
Urges Biden Administration to Deploy Infrastructure Funding for Arizona Drought Resiliency
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly released the following statement on the new agreement reached between Arizona, California, Nevada, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation, and tribal governments to boost water elevations in Lake Mead. The “500+ Plan” aims to add 500,000 acre-feet of water to Lake Mead for 2022 and 2023 as water levels in the reservoir have declined to record lows.
“I applaud the efforts of Arizona tribal leaders and their partners at the Interior Department who worked tirelessly to make this agreement possible to increase our water security,” said Senator Mark Kelly, a member of the Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works Committees. “I have continued to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to tackle Arizona’s drought challenges, but there is more work to be done. With Tier 1 cutbacks just a few weeks away, Secretary Haaland must move quickly to release funding contained in the bipartisan infrastructure package that fully implements the Drought Contingency Plan and improves water efficiency in Arizona and throughout the West.”
In July, Kelly announced key drought resiliency priorities that passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and were later included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law last month. Kelly was a member of the Senate bipartisan group that reached a $1.2 trillion infrastructure agreement for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and played a leadership role in drafting the drinking water and western water portions of the law. The law provides full funding for the Drought Contingency Plan, supports water recycling and desalination, and promotes ecosystem conservation for the Colorado River. In October, Senator Kelly chaired a bipartisan Senate hearing on drought mitigation for the western United States.