Landmark water deal secures 49 billion gallons of water for Lake Mead


Arizona’s water management efforts received a major boost with the announcement by two water groups that they have reached a fundraising goal of $ 38 million to conserve 150,000 acre-feet of water (nearly 49 billion gallons) to support falling water levels in Lake Mead through the Colorado River Indian Tribes System Conservation Project.

The announcement was made by Business for Water Stewardship and the Environmental Defense Fund and represents Arizona’s largest multi-sector collaborative drought relief effort ever.

The funding was made possible through the support of private sector companies and foundations, including Intel Corp .; Google; Microsoft; Procter & Gamble; Reformation; Keurig Dr Pepper; Ecolab; Cascade; Coxswain; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Silk; Target; Brochu Walker; and Swire Coca-Cola, United States. Major philanthropic funders included the Walton Family Foundation and the Water Funder Initiative.

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“This partnership represents an important next step in Arizona water history: a step where political leadership and the business and philanthropic communities come together to ensure long-term water security for Arizona,” said Percy Kirk, senior vice president and director of the Southwest region, Cox Communications. “We are proud to support the state’s efforts to plan for a sustainable future that conserves water for community, commercial and ecological uses.

The news comes as the state nears a first-ever federal declaration of a Level 1 shortage, with Arizona bracing for an 18% reduction in the amount of water it receives from Lake Mead and the Colorado River.

“The way we use, manage and value water will dictate our future,” said Todd Reeve, CEO of Bonneville Environmental Foundation and co-founder of Business for Water Stewardship. “Today is a major step made possible by the collective impact. We’re redefining the way businesses work collaboratively with tribes, community and political stakeholders, philanthropy, and nonprofit partners to deliver solutions that ensure people, economies and ecosystems along the Colorado River have enough clean water to thrive.

The funding announcement is a critical step in the implementation of the state’s drought contingency plan, in which Arizona and the six other states in the Colorado River Basin have agreed to take proactive steps conservation program to help prevent impacts associated with lower water levels in Lakes Mead and Powell. . Arizona will likely face immediate water reductions in 2022 with the potential for deeper reductions in 2023.

The historic funding partnership directly supports the Colorado River Indian Tribes and their extraordinary water conservation commitments to increase Lake Mead water levels.

“The importance of DCP cannot be overstated as drought conditions persist,” said Amelia Flores, president of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. “CRIT is proud to play a key role in alleviating water shortages in Arizona. We are able to do this through prudent conservation that benefits Arizona while protecting our water rights. The partnerships and alliances that have been forged at all levels of government as well as within businesses and not-for-profit entities demonstrate the level of commitment needed to resolve this crisis. “

Recent collaborations between various business partners in Arizona show that companies are leading the way with solutions and are using their brands and their enormous capacity, influence and resources to pave the way for long-term water security in Arizona.

“Today’s announcement is the latest in a long history of Intel engagement in Arizona,” said Elizabeth Shipley, director of public affairs for Intel in Arizona. “We are proud of our investments in water conservation and commend the organizations that support the CRIT System Conservation Project. Intel is committed to continuing to support projects and programs that benefit the Arizona community, economy, and ecosystem as part of our goal of achieving positive net water use. here 2030. “

“Through our commitment to water, Microsoft is focused on improving water conditions for people, nature and society in water-stressed parts of the world,” said Paul Fleming , Microsoft Global Water Program Manager. “We supported the CRIT project because of its tangible benefits to the community and because it helped to merge and scale the activities of individual entities into a collective action framework. By aligning state government, tribal government, nonprofit and philanthropic communities, and the private sector, the CRIT project provides an example of how we can work together to manage a resource that supports us all.

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