Three Arizona legislators move to ratify Hualapai water rights
WASHINGTON — U.S. Arizona Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1) moved May 8 to solidify a comprehensive water settlement for the Hualapai Tribe.
The Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019 would codify an agreement between Arizona and the U.S. government regarding the Tribe’s federally reserved water rights, including the Tribe’s right to receive 4,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Colorado River.
“Grand Canyon West, located on the Hualapai reservation, brings more than one million visitors each year to Arizona,” said McSally. “The Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act codifies the agreement made between tribe and government to sustain high levels of tourism and employment in the area. It is critical this bill is sent to the president’s desk quickly not only to boost the Hualapai Tribe’s economic self-sufficiency, but to provide fundamental long-term water security necessary for the Tribe’s population on the Reservation.”
“I’m proud to work closely with the Hualapai Tribe to finalize a landmark water rights settlement that will provide the Hualapai people with water security and grow Arizona’s economy,” said Sinema.
“Water is the lifeblood of communities throughout Arizona and across the region, and without it, economic development and growth is stalling. Today, I am proud to support Arizona families and tourism by introducing the Hualapai Water Rights Settlement Act,” said O’Halleran. “This important legislation will give the Hualapai Tribe access to water from the Colorado River, and it will allow Peach Springs and Grand Canyon West to grow and create good-paying jobs in the area. I am pleased to see members of our delegation coming together in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to address this issue.”
“The Hualapai Tribe has worked for years to secure its water rights, and this critical legislation will strengthen our sovereignty and self-reliance for generations,” said Hualapai Tribal Chairman Dr. Damon R. Clarke. “We are grateful for the continued work of Arizona’s congressional delegation, especially Sen. Martha McSally, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Rep. Tom O’Halleran and Rep. Paul Gosar. They have all been steadfast in their support of the Hualapai Tribe. As the Senate and House move this legislation forward, we await the day when we can finally secure these rights that are essential to the future of the Hualapai people.”
On May 15, 2017, the Mohave County Board Supervisors unanimously expressed support the settlement.
In combination with additional water efforts, the Hualapai Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019 furthers bipartisan work to secure Arizona’s water future and prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary federal litigation. This bill was previously introduced by U.S. Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain.