U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) recently endorsed the Bureau of Reclamation funding plan for water management and drought response projects in Arizona.
Among the projects is a pilot program to store water in Lake Mead.
Arizona has limited water resources, and with the continuing drought, protecting the state from water shortages hinges on voluntary water-saving measures and storing water in Lake Mead.
The Colorado River Basin Pilot System Conservation Program allows Arizona to store up to three million acre-feet of water through 2019, while reducing the amount of water taken from the Colorado River through conservation programs. The Colorado River pilot program is allocated $5 million and the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan will receive $11.5 million.
"The bureau’s funds will also go toward enhancing a range of water conservation projects across Arizona, including upgrades to the Yuma Desalination Plan and incentivizing irrigation districts to conserve more water," the senators said. "There is much more that needs to be done to safeguard our precious water resources, and we intend to propose that Congress extend the System Conservation Program beyond the pilot stage as well as continue to support state-led efforts to increase storage across all of Arizona’s reservoirs. Through these and other programs, we can ensure that Arizona’s water supplies are preserved and protected well into the future."