Phoenix approves water-conservation deal with Gila River tribal leaders, federal agencies
Phoenix approves water-conservation deal with Gila River tribal leaders, federal agencies.
The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a water-conservation agreement with the Gila River Indian Community and federal agencies on Tuesday, finalizing a plan that will help stretch supplies on the Colorado River.. To stem falling water levels and help prevent a shortage, the Gila River Indian Community will leave 40,000 acre-feet of its river allocation in Lake Mead.
In exchange, the city of Phoenix, state of Arizona and Bureau of Reclamation will each pay the tribe $2 million.
The Walton Family Foundation will contribute $1 million.
“This is an incredible partnership among many parties,” Mayor Greg Stanton said.
“This agreement today is one of the many ways the city of Phoenix is leading the way to make our city and our state more resilient than ever.” For years, the Colorado River system has been drained faster than it has been refilled.
Water levels have dropped about 12 feet a year in Lake Mead, which today sits at 1,081 feet above sea level.
“It is unchartered territory,” Phoenix Water Services Director Kathryn Sorensen told the council.
It is the second water agreement between Phoenix and the Gila River community this year.
Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis and Stanton are longtime friends from before their time in office.