Kelly, Sinema Announce Over $11 Million Investment in Arizona Water Conservation & Efficiency Projects from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Sinema and shaped by Kelly provides $11.4 million in WaterSMART grants for conservation and efficiency projects across Arizona 

$11.4 million in WaterSMART grants will be invested in five Arizona water conservation and efficiency projects from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law led by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and shaped by Senator Mark Kelly. 

Sinema and Kelly’s bipartisan infrastructure law increased funding for the WaterSMART program by $400 million to help strengthen Arizona’s water reliability and secure the entire West’s water future. 

“From upgrading aging water infrastructure to equipping communities with state-of-the-art water management technology, our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing the resources Arizona needs to combat this historic drought and secure our water future,” said Senator Kelly.   

“As the entire American West faces record drought conditions, our bipartisan infrastructure law invests directly in our long-term water security. We’re proud to deliver these solutions to help communities across our state improve water efficiency,” said Sinema, co-author and lead negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

With a focus on growing concern for drought conditions in Western states like Arizona, Sinema and Kelly increased funding for WaterSMART grants in their bipartisan infrastructure law. Breakdown of Arizona WaterSMART projects funded by Sinema and Kelly’s law: 

Project Name / Location: Funding Amount:  Description: 
Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District, Diversion Intake Structure Modernization & Canal Energy System Project $5 Million The Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District, located near Phoenix, will modernize the existing concrete diversion intake structure on the Gila River, convert 600 feet of the earthen Main Canal to concrete, and install a Canal Energy System, which includes an 876-kilowatt solar array over the Main Canal and in-line micro hydrokinetic turbines. The district will also install a new sluice structure, flow control, and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system. In addition, the project includes the construction of a regulating reservoir to capture winter flows in the Gila River and allow for reduced groundwater pumping during the growing season. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 16,639 acre-feet, which is currently lost to evaporation, seepage, operational spills, and over-deliveries. Conserved water will remain in the Gila River for longer periods, increasing the reliability of the water supply for nearby communities, ecological benefits, and agricultural purposes. 
Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, Metro Main Automated Metering Infrastructure Project $2 Million The Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District, located near Tucson, will replace 11,234 existing meters for residential, commercial, and irrigation customers with advanced metering infrastructure meters, install electronic endpoints, and install a network of communication equipment. By providing real-time data to customers, the project is expected to result in annual water savings of 1,119 acre-feet, currently lost to leaks. The project will reduce the need for groundwater pumping and Colorado River water. 
Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District, Lateral D Modernization Project $2 Million The Paloma Irrigation and Drainage District, located in Maricopa County, will replace 8 manually controlled Jack Lift gates at check structures and 23 manually controlled slide gates at turnouts along Lateral D with new automated gates and an automated solar-powered Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 2,985 acre-feet, which is currently lost to spills and over-deliveries. Conserved water will remain in the Colorado River system for longer periods, improving the reliability of the water supply for communities, benefitting species, and helping to avoid reduced allocations during times of drought. 
Town of Gilbert, South Gilbert Regional Advanced Metering Infrastructure Conversion Project $1.9 Million The Town of Gilbert, located near Phoenix, will install 38,642 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters and radios for residential customers, which will be connected to the city’s AMI radio network, along with a customer portal. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 2,172 acre-feet by providing customers with detailed usage and leak detection information on a near real-time basis. The city relies on treated water from the Colorado River and supplements its supplies with groundwater wells to meet demands during summer peaks and planned Water Treatment Plant outages. The conversion to AMI meters will help the city offset its groundwater pumping and continue to meet its water demands. 
Town of Cave Creek, Advanced Metering Infrastructure Water Conservation Project $500,000 The Town of Cave Creek, located in the Sonoran Desert in northern Maricopa County, will convert 2,350 existing outdated water meters to advanced metering infrastructure meters. The town will also install communications network hardware and towers, upgrade to a new meter data management software system, and connect the system to the cloud-based network. The project is expected to result in annual water savings of 148 acre-feet currently lost to leaks, which will reduce the town’s demand on Central Arizona Project water. 

Sinema led bipartisan Senate negotiations with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that included Senator Kelly and senators from both parties. 

The bipartisan infrastructure 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 dam 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.