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Biden signs water bills benefiting 3 tribes in Arizona

Grand Canyon Colorado River
John Locher
AP Photo
Alyssa Chubbuck, left, and Dan Bennett embrace while watching the sunset at Guano Point overlooking the Colorado River on the Hualapai reservation Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in northwestern Arizona. In November 1922, seven land-owning white men brokered a deal to allocate water from the Colorado River, which winds through the West and ends in Mexico. During the past two decades, pressure has intensified on the river as the driest 22-year stretch in the past 1,200 years has gripped the southwestern U.S.

President Joe Biden has approved three bills that will improve access to water for three tribes in Arizona amid an unrelenting drought.

One settles water claims for the Hualapai Tribe, whose reservation borders a 100-mile stretch of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Another gives the Colorado River Indian Tribes based in Parker the ability to lease part of its Colorado River supply. The tribe has one of the largest and most secure allocations of river water anywhere in the basin.

The third measure amends a water settlement for the White Mountain Apache Tribe in eastern Arizona, authorizing additional federal funding for a rural water system and dam, and extends the timelines to complete the projects.