Sen. Kelly-Secured Funds Used to Launch New Lower Basin Drought Mitigation Program 

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued the following statement after the Department of Interior announced it created a new drought mitigation program using the $4 billion Kelly championed and secured in the Inflation Reduction Act to combat historic western drought.

The Kelly-secured funding will be used to establish a newly created Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program. The program, which will be managed through the Bureau of Reclamation, will help increase water conservation, improve water efficiency, and protect Lake Powell and Lake Mead’s reservoirs from falling to critically low levels that would threaten water deliveries and power production for Lower Basin states. 

“I’m glad to see the resources we secured used to protect and strengthen Arizona’s access to the Colorado River. Thanks to our work, Arizona farmers, cities, and tribes will soon see the assistance they need amid this historic drought as well as the resources necessary to prevent Lake Mead and Lake Powell water levels from falling further. I’ll keep pushing the administration to ensure that it continues to use every tool at its disposal to protect Arizona’s water resources,” said Kelly who negotiated and secured $4 billion in funding to combat drought in the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Kelly, along with a coalition of western senators, negotiated and secured $4 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act which will help Arizona and Colorado River basin states combat drought. The Kelly-secured funding can be used by the Bureau of 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 lakes such as the Salton Sea and the Great Salt Lake.