Arizona Senate committee OKs $1 billion to secure water resources

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, June 24, 2022 - 2:36pm
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2022 - 2:38pm

Rainbow Bridge National Monument at Lake Powell
National Park Service
Rainbow Bridge National Monument at Lake Powell in October 2021.

An Arizona Senate committee approved a plan to provide $1 billion over the next three years to revamp the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority. 

Seventy-five percent of the money has to be spent to acquire water outside the state. That has led to options like building a desalination plant to treat water from the Sea of Cortez. 

Sen. Victoria Steele (D-Tucson) pointed out those projects will take years to complete. 

“All of these pieces in this bill are critical,” Steele said. “And we have to move it along. I get it. But these things are so much further into the future. And we're at DEFCON 5 now. We need to do something now.”

Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke noted the possibility of Lake Mead and Lake Powell reaching “dead pool,” when no water will be available. 

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