Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain have introduced legislation that would ratify a settlement agreement between the Hualapai Tribe, the state of Arizona and several water users throughout the state.
The senators recently introduced The Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act in an effort to settle the Hualapai Tribe’s water rights claims. The bill would quantify the tribe’s Colorado River rights and allow 4,000 acre-feet per year from the river to be designated as “Non-Indian Agricultural Priority Central Arizona Project water.” The bill would also give the Hualapai Tribe the right to all groundwater and surface use on its reservation, according to a press release.
“This landmark settlement protects Arizonans from a shortage in Lake Mead through proactive water management and ensures continued, reliable access to water throughout the state,” Flake said in a statement. “I am especially pleased that in settling this claim, the Hualapai Tribe will finally gain the ability to put its water right to use and grow its economy.”
“I thank Senator Flake for his leadership on this issue, which is critical to safeguarding the Hualapai Tribe’s water supplies and growing the local economy,” McCain said in a statement.
The settlement also gives the Hualapai Tribe authorization for infrastructure projects that would provide water sources at the Grand Canyon West and Peach Springs to help create economic growth.
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