Flake Secures Commitment to Protect Arizona Water in Lake Mead

Ends threat of Arizona losing Lake Mead water to other states

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) yesterday secured the Interior Department’s commitment to honor and protect Arizona’s water in Lake Mead, ending the immediate threat of Arizona losing any of that water to another state. Flake, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, had been working to obtain assurances from the administration to not allow another state to take Arizona water stored in Lake Mead as part of a conservation effort during the drought.

“Arizona can now rest assured that no other state will gets its hands on the water we have saved in Lake Mead,”said Flake. “This is a big win for Arizona in the combined effort to combat the drought, prevent a water shortage, and ensure continued access to our share of the Colorado River.”

Background

  • On July 13, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Flake’s Western Water Supply and Planning Enhancement Act (S. 2902), legislation to combat the Western drought. The legislation, introduced with  U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) provides forward-looking measures to help drought-stricken states make better use of existing water infrastructure, increase conservation efforts, and protect state-issued water rights.
  • On July 8, Flake sent a letter to DOI requesting clarification of the agency’s policy regarding water left in Lake Mead under existing voluntary conservation programs.
  • On Oct. 8, 2015, at hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Flake first raised concerns that DOI could give the water saved by Arizona in Lake Mead to another state. During the hearing, Flake stressed the need for assurances that the administration would protect that water.

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