Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hualapai Colorado River Settlement Bill Reintroduced in U.S. Senate

Grand Canyon West

Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have reintroduced a bill that would settle claims by the Hualapai Tribe to the Colorado River. Supporters say the deal is crucial for economic development on the reservation. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

The settlement between the Hualapai, federal government and other water users would allocate 4,000 acre feet, or 1.3 billion gallons, per year to the tribe. A 70-mile pipeline would deliver the water from Diamond Creek to Peach Springs and the Hualapai-owned Grand Canyon Skywalk and connecting Grand Canyon West resort.

The tribe has limited access to groundwater, and says the $170 million project would benefit tourism and boost employment. Hualapai officials say the resort employs 600 people with more than a million visitors each year.

However, Interior Department officials last year testified that the project’s costs would exceed estimates, and don’t justify the relatively small amount of water it would provide.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
Related Content