Interior Secretary Haaland announces $1.7 billion for tribal water settlements
During a visit to Arizona on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced $1.7 billion will be used to fund 16 tribal water rights settlements.
Access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities has remained a challenge for hundreds of thousands of Native Americans.
Haaland said the money will be used to ensure tribes get the water they’ve been promised, but didn’t have access to because of a lack of infrastructure.
“Though this funding can’t make it rain, or refill wells or reservoirs with water, it can go a long way to build resilience and develop strategies that can help stretch water resources that are available," Haaland said.
The money comes as a part of the $11 billion set aside for tribal lands from the infrastructure bill. Other funded projects include expanding broadband coverage and fixing roads.