The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) is proposing federal legislation authorizing the CRIT to lease, exchange and store underground a portion of its consumptively used decreed Colorado River water allocation off of its reservation, within the Lower Basin of the State of Arizona. The federal legislation proposes two actions:
- To authorize the CRIT, subject to approval by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), to enter leases, options to lease, exchanges, options to exchange and agreements for storage underground of a portion of the CRIT’s consumptively used decreed water allocation that is a part of the Lower Colorado River apportionment for the State of Arizona (Decreed Allocation) for use and storage off of the CRIT Reservation in the part of the State of Arizona that is in the Lower Basin of the Colorado River (CRIT Water Agreements), and;
- To authorize the Secretary to approve CRIT Water Agreements.
In addition to the proposed federal legislation, the CRIT will also enter into the following agreements:
- An agreement between the CRIT, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (Department) and the Secretary to establish a cooperative process to provide notice, share information, and collaborate in advance of the execution of CRIT Water Agreements, and for the procedures to quantify, report, verify, and account for the portion of the CRIT Decreed Allocation included in CRIT Water Agreements.
- An agreement between the CRIT and the Department to establish a cooperative process to provide notice, share information, and collaborate in advance of the CRIT executing a CRIT Water Agreement.
The lease, exchange or storage underground shall only provide for temporary use or storage underground of CRIT’s consumptively used Decreed Allocation off of the CRIT Reservation and shall not permanently alienate the CRIT’s Decreed Allocation. The lease, exchange or storage underground shall also not reduce or limit the right of the CRIT to use the full remaining Decreed Allocation on the CRIT Reservation in Arizona. All water made available by CRIT for use off reservation shall be from the reduction in consumptive use on the CRIT Reservation.
The proposed language for the legislation and the agreements may be viewed in the Documents section below. The Department will host two virtual public meetings on the potential federal legislation and agreements and will accept written public comments on the documents during a public comment period as described below.
The public meeting(s) will be held via WebEx at the following dates and times:
Public Comment Period
The Director of the Department will accept written public comments regarding the potential legislation and agreements. Such comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021. Written comments can be mailed, hand-delivered or sent via email or fax. If mailed, written comments must be postmarked no later than Friday, January 8, 2021. Please send comments to:
Arizona Department of Water Resources
Attn: Sharon Scantlebury
P.O. Box 36020
Phoenix, AZ 85067-6020
(602) 771-8472 (phone)
(602) 771-8687 (fax)
PUBLIC COMMENTS RECEIVED
Mohave County Board of Supervisors- Resolution
Coachella Valley Water District
Cental Arizona Water Conservation District
Arizona Municipal Water Users Association
Mayor Anderson, Town of Gilbert
Mayor Carlat, City of Peoria
Salt River Project
National Audubon Society
Amber Van Fleet
Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona and Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association
Gila River Indian Community
Waters for Arizona
City of Phoenix
Richard M. Armstrong