U.S. House Of Representatives Appropriations Committee Passes Bill

By Joe Pyritz, Public Information Officer, Pinal County

The House Appropriations Committee voted to pass the fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies funding bill which includes critical funding designed to support Central Arizona farmers. U.S. Congresswomen Ann Kirkpatrick led the effort to secure this funding from her position on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. The language included in the Report provides $40 million in areas experiencing extended drought conditions, specifically for well construction projects that lead to conservation of surface water, such as the Pinal County infrastructure project included in the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) agreement.  

“I am pleased that the language and funding I worked on with my committee has been included in the Energy and Water Funding report,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “Local farmers and communities, and the State, have stepped up to make the DCP work and know we need the federal government to do its part to support this effort. My language provides an ideal tool to fund a significant portion of the infrastructure project in Central Arizona, and I look forward to working with the Bureau to see this through to a successful completion. I’m committed to helping our state address severe and long-standing drought conditions and to supporting the economic vitality of farmers in the State.” 

“This provision is a great step toward meeting the goals of the DCP. Improving the flexibility of conservation programs is critical to ensuring DCP agreements are implemented,” said Rep. O’Halleran said. “I am pleased that we were able to come together to address this, not only for my constituents in Pinal County, but for all Arizonans. I look forward to continuing to work to secure tools that will help Arizona become more drought resilient.”

“It remains critical that we invest in water conservation and water infrastructure,” Said Rep Gosar. “I am glad to lend my ongoing support to this appropriation.”

“This is an important step toward implementation of the DCP in Arizona and has the potential to provide Pinal County farmers with the federal funding necessary to complete the groundwater infrastructure project that was a central element of the State’s plan, Said Pinal County Supervisor Stephen Q. Miller. “We are grateful to Congresswomen Kirkpatrick for her leadership in including this language in her subcommittee’s bill, and we greatly appreciate her, and her colleagues Rep. O’Halleran and Rep. Gosar’s, efforts to support famers in Pinal County. While there is much work ahead before federal funding is secured, we look forward to working with our Delegation leaders on that goal.”   

“On behalf of the Central Arizona Irrigation and Drainage District, Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation & Drainage District, the New Magma Irrigation and Drainage District, and Electrical Districts Nos. 3 and 4 of Pinal County, I want to offer my deepest appreciation to Congresswomen Kirkpatrick for her steadfast commitment to getting this done in her subcommittee, and to the ongoing efforts of Reps O’Halleran and Gosar” said attorney Paul Orme. “This is a critical step on the path to protecting Pinal County farmers and supporting implementation of the DCP.”     

A summary of the Energy and Water Development bill:

The text of the bill:

The bill report: