Kelly, Sinema Urge Administration to Quickly Release Drought Relief for Arizona

Today, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema urged the U.S. Department of Interior to quickly release drought relief for Arizona and match and increase the $40 million recently allocated to the Arizona Department of Water Resources by the state.

“As state and local officials continue to work to conserve and recycle water, it is crucial that the federal government continue to provide the resources they need as soon as possible. The State of Arizona and other non-federal partners have set aside funding for additional water conservation efforts in 2022. As such, we request that you quickly release the drought relief funds for the Bureau in the CR and encourage you to match efforts in our state with federal resources,” wrote Senators Kelly and Sinema.

Kelly and Sinema stressed the serious drought conditions in Arizona, with Lakes Mead and Powell falling to their lowest levels in decades—severely impacting Arizona farmers, cities, tribes. 

The letter follows a series of drought-focused actions that Kelly has taken in the Senate. Last month, Kelly chaired a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power to examine the historic drought affecting Arizona and the western United States. The hearing, which Kelly requested, covered the impact of climate change on the Colorado River system, Arizona farmers, and hydropower generation.

Kelly was also one of the 22 members of the Senate bipartisan group that authored the infrastructure agreement, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, that passed the Senate in August. Kelly played a leadership role in drafting the western water and drinking water portions of the legislation, which makes historic investments in Arizona’s water future with $8.3 billion in building and strengthening water infrastructure throughout the American West, including aging infrastructure, water storage, water recycling and reuse, desalination, drought contingency plans, and dam safety.

Click HERE to read the Senators’ letter.