Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
Think of it as a water bailout, easing Arizona’s Colorado River woes and the legal-environmental water conflicts plaguing many rural communities.
Think of it as a boon for Indian tribes looking to make better and more lucrative use of their river water.
Or, think of it as an enabler of growth and sprawl from Sierra Vista to Prescott and points beyond.
All these descriptions could apply to a complex plan to send tribal water from the Colorado River into Arizona’s heartland to support existing residents and future development.
Four Indian tribes owning the biggest and the most shortage-proof share of Colorado River water in the Lower Basin want to spread that booty around Arizona. They’re offering a “drought supply,” backstopping existing supplies now threatened by growth and climate change.
The Colorado River Indian Tribes, commonly called CRIT, want to lease more river water than is delivered each year to the city of Tucson to various water agencies, utilities and the feds. For that, they want more money than they now make from their alfalfa fields, where the water currently goes.
For more than a year into late 2016, the tribes, working with the Phoenix-based Salt River Project, held secret discussions about a possible leasing arrangement with officials of the state’s most powerful water agencies, the federal government and the Governor’s Office. The Star learned of the talks through public records obtained from one of the agencies, the Central Arizona Project.
Read more on tucson.com by Tony Davis, Arizona Daily Star
[Editor: Water wars are like range wars in days of yore. Especially precious in the desert.]