With New Bill, O'Halleran, McSally Work to Ratify Hualapai Tribe's Water Settlement
Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) introduced the Hualapai Water Rights Settlement Act of 2019 to address the Hualapai Tribe’s right to receive 4,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Colorado River. The bill, which was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema, ratifies a comprehensive water rights settlement agreement between the State of Arizona, the Hualapai Tribe, and major water providers and users.
The legislation is cosponsored by Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) and Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09.
“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,” Congressman O’Halleran said. “This important legislation will give the Hualapai Tribe access to water from the Colorado River. Peach Springs and Grand Canyon West will be able to drive economic growth 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.”
“Grand Canyon West, located on the Hualapai reservation, brings more than one million visitors each year to Arizona,” said Senator 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 Senator Sinema.
“The lack of a secure and sustainable water supply has long been a barrier to the Hualapai Tribe’s economic stability and ability to exercise their full sovereign rights,” said Congressman Gallego. “I am proud to support this settlement, which will finally allow the Hualapai Tribe to exercise its water rights, improve its water infrastructure, and guarantee access to water for future generations.”
“The future economic viability of the Hualapai Tribe depends like so many communities on its access to clean water supplies,” said Congressman Stanton. “This funding will help deliver Colorado River water to the Reservation where nearly all tribal members live today, as well as to Grand Canyon West—a major economic development project for the Tribe. That water access will support new growth and help create jobs, both on and off the Reservation.”
“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.”
A similar bipartisan bill was introduced by Senator McCain and Congressman Gosar in the 115th Congress. O’Halleran cosponsored that legislation.