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Western senators urge USDA to support farmers amid drought

Blue water pools behind a white concrete dam, surrounded by bare red rock
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Lake Powell sits at 26% full after two decades of drought.

A bipartisan group of western lawmakers, including Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, are urging federal officials to prioritize drought relief and conservation efforts.

They say securing the region’s water future is crucial amid the decades-long megadrought impacting the West.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the senators say farmers and ranchers must be able to sustain the nation’s food supply.

They’re urging the Biden administration to invest in drought relief measures, provide technical assistance to growers and help them conserve water.

Major river basins in the West, including the Colorado River, face a 22-year drought that’s dropped levels in lakes Powell and Mead to historic lows.

Farmers and ranchers in Arizona have borne the brunt of federally mandated water cuts.