Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today released the following statement applauding the Bureau of Reclamation’s plan to devote critical funding this fiscal year to boost much-needed water management and drought response projects in Arizona. In particular, the Bureau has allocated $11.5 million to the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan, as well as an additional $5 million to support the Colorado River Basin Pilot System Conservation Program:
“We are pleased that the Bureau of Reclamation’s spending plan for Fiscal Year 2016 includes funding for several Arizona priorities, including $11.5 million to continue its support for the Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan and an additional $5 million to support the Colorado River Basin Pilot System Conservation Program. These programs are vital to protecting Arizona’s limited water resources as our state continues to feel the effects of historic drought in the arid West. For example, the Drought Response Action Plan includes a pilot project developed by the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project, in concert with our California and Nevada partners, to store 740,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead by 2017 and up to three million acre-feet through 2019. In addition, the System Conservation Program will help reduce consumptive uses of Colorado River water through voluntary efforts and protect Arizona from a shortage declaration by keeping additional water in Lake Mead.
“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. 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.”
Editor’s Note: Some of the images shown here may be published under the Creative Commons licensing. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>