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Gov. Doug Ducey wants to spend $30M in COVID-19 funds on Colorado River water rights

By Reyna Preciado
Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 8:17am
Updated: Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 11:17am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wants to invest $30 million from the COVID-19 relief fund to protect the state’s access to the Colorado River water supply.

The state’s efforts to protect its Colorado River water supply involve plans to negotiate with tribes and others that hold water rights. The state wants to use the $30 million to buy the water rights. This is an addition to the $10 million that was requested earlier this year.

The drought in Arizona has created a consistent water shortage, and officials have considered this during their planning process.

“It’s not just trying to buy time and hope the river recovers. It’s trying to stabilize the lake levels," said Tom Butschatzke, the director of the Department of Water Resources.

He says future plans will be designed to create more permanent solutions. One of the solutions could possibly be desalinating water from the Sea of Cortez, but issues ranging from politics to technology could get in the way. Still, he says, that plan is only an idea for the far future.

Politics Sustainability Climate Change Water