Water bills for tribes in Arizona to head to President Biden

Three bills that would improve access to water for some tribes in Arizona amid an unrelenting drought are now poised for President Joe Biden’s desk.

The U.S. House approved the legislation on Dec. 22, just a few days after the U.S. Senate did.

One measure would give the Colorado River Indian Tribes in northwestern Arizona the ability to lease water from the Colorado River. The tribe based in Parker has one of the largest allocations of Colorado River anywhere, and it’s among the most secure.

Another bill would settle the Hualapai Tribe’s claim to water from the Colorado River and give the tribe $180 million for the infrastructure to deliver it to the tribe’s main tourist center at Grand Canyon West and to residents.

The third bill would amend a 2010 water rights settlement for the White Mountain Apache Tribe in eastern Arizona to authorize additional federal funding for a rural water system and dam. The bill also would extend the deadline to complete the projects.

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Joe Biden will participate in a town hall in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania Thursday.

President Joe Biden