The coalition includes over 200 agricultural organizations and urban and rural water districts; includes organizations from 15 states that collectively represent $120 billion in agricultural production, nearly 1/3rd of all agricultural production in the United States, and tens of millions of urban and rural water users. the coalition represents farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers in 13 states in the Western United States, which collectively account for $118 billion worth of food and agricultural production, or 31.9% of the U.S. total. In 2019, the agricultural economy represented by the coalition contributed over $350 billion to the United States GDP and more than 7 million full- and part-time jobs.
Water infrastructure funding is a must for our water managers and growers. In Arizona alone, the irrigation district related infrastructure funding need is $698 million! Federal funding is needed in various forms since many of the irrigation districts cannot assess their customers the dollar amounts needed; it would be unaffordable!
Such funding benefits us all with increased efficiency in water use and continuing to provide food and fiber to a growing population and assisting in the economic well-being of the Grand Canyon State.
Hear from some of our member irrigation district managers who live and recognize the need each day—
Tom Davis, General Manager, Yuma County Water Users Association in Yuma, Arizona— “5.9-million-acre feet of water is diverted from the Colorado River at Imperial Dam annually. This is the largest single diversion point in the Colorado River system where water is sent to California, Arizona, and Mexico for agricultural and municipal use. Incredibly, 85% of the produce consumed in the U.S. and Canada during the winter months is grown in this region. Imperial Dam is a federally owned structure that is over 80 years old. No matter how well this structure has been maintained, after 80 years, major rehabilitation is necessary. The federal government has an obligation to step up with funding to assist with these federally owned projects.”
Shane M. Leonard, General Manager, Roosevelt Water Conservation District--
“Urbanizing water districts meet demands from multiple sectors including agricultural, municipal, residential, and industrial. Water infrastructure has been and continues to be one of the most expensive components of ensuring adequate and renewable supplies of water. Projects related to water such as replacing aging and broken infrastructure, and incorporation of new technologies for water conservation are necessary, expensive, and very often outside of the budget constraints of those very same districts. Adequate funding ensures water supplies are delivered using the most technologically appropriate systems providing for better conservation of water and less reliance on non-renewable supplies. Without proper funding, we jeopardize water certainty and dependability now and for future generations.”
Shane Lindstrom, General Manager, San Carlos Irrigation & Drainage District--
“The San Carlos Irrigation & Drainage District (SCIDD) currently is in the process of rehabilitating and lining the 130-year-old, earthen Florence Canal, which serves all 100,546 acres of San Carlos Irrigation Project lands within SCIDD and the Gila River Indian Community. The concrete lining and associated structures are needed to update aging infrastructure and improve the hydraulic efficiency of the system, and minimize canal system water losses currently estimated at over 50%. Water scarcity in Pinal County is a particularly acute issue due to less available Colorado River water deliveries through the Central Arizona Project canal system. The SCIDD canal lining project is crucial for the overall well-being of the regional economy, communities, environment and will benefit the conservation of surface water supplies, leaving more water in the ground for drought mitigation and future generations.
We are actively seeking additional funding to keep the needed conservation efforts and improvements going! SCIDD’s ongoing construction management experience has included projects totaling over $100 million to date, with projects completed on-time and on-budget. The only impediment to the success of SCIDD’s canal rehabilitation program has been the lack of sufficient funds to complete all the work required.”
We thank our Arizona Congressional delegation for their attention to this important federal priority and request their support during the current infrastructure debate in Washington, D.C.
For more information about the U.S. Senate Water & Power Sub-Committee within the Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
Arizona Senator Mark Kelly addresses witnesses at the Energy and Natural Resources Committee on June 24, 2021. Bureau of Reclamation Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for water and science at the Department of Reclamation, Tonya Trujillo testified before the committee. We appreciate Senator Kelly for all of his efforts in promoting the funding of Arizona's Aging Water Infrastructure.
U.S. Congressional Staff from Washington D.C. and Arizona attend a presentation by Irrigation District Managers and the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona throughout Arizona on May 14th and June 4th.
Addressing the critical needs of our water infrastructure does so much more than secure a sustainable water future. Investment will create critically important jobs;
Chris Udall sits down with Morgan Loew of News Channel 3 on Monday, May 10, 2021. Discussing Arizona water users preparing for first-ever cuts and the effects to Arizona growers.
On January 12, 2021, a national coalition of more than 200 agricultural organizations and urban and rural water districts urged President-elect Joe Biden and congressional leadership today to address aging Western water infrastructure in any potential infrastructure or economic recovery package.
The coalition includes organizations from 15 states that collectively represent $120 billion in agricultural production, nearly one-third of all agricultural production in the country, and tens of millions of urban and rural water users.
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