Interior announces Arizona tribal water settlement funding

In her first visit to Arizona as secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland touted water, drought resilience and other projects that will be funded by the recently passed infrastructure law. 

Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, met with Arizona tribal leaders Monday and visited the Gila River Indian Community Tuesday morning. During the meetings, she discussed water delivery projects, funding for the Drought Resilience Plan and tribal water projects such as fulfilling Indian water settlements, some of which have waited for funding for decades.

On her tour of the Gila River community, she saw shovel-ready projects, including well sites that will eventually make use of the water the tribe has been banking.

Bernadine Burnette, president of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, said tribal leaders think the infrastructure act’s provisions will remove barriers to tribes and provide the means for long-overdue improvements on infrastructure work.