Breaking News
More () »

3 new water agreements aim to help Lake Mead

The money for the conservation projects comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

ARIZONA, USA — Federal and state officials announced more than $200 million in funding for water conservation projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

The money is split among three projects benefitting the Gila River Indian Community.

Officials said $83 million would go toward a reclaimed water pipeline that will run to the reservation from Mesa. That pipeline is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Another $150 million over three years will support water conservation efforts within the tribe, expected to save 125,000 acre-feet of water per year. 

Federal officials said they expect those conservation programs to leave an additional two feet of water elevation in Lake Mead, which supplies water to much of the Southwest.

Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis said a third project will cover the reservation canals with solar panels to minimize evaporation. 

The West is currently in a record-breaking 23-year megadrought.

Lake levels at Lake Mead have been falling for decades, stressing the ability of the Colorado River system to provide water for New Mexico, California, Nevada and Arizona. 

Water Wars

Catch up on the latest news and stories surrounding Arizona’s water crisis on the 12News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.

More ways to get 12News

On your phone: Download the 12News app for the latest local breaking news straight to your phone.

On your streaming device: Download 12News+ to your streaming device

The free 12News+ app from 12News lets users stream live events — including daily newscasts like "Today in AZ" and "12 News" and our daily lifestyle program, "Arizona Midday"—on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

12News+ showcases live video throughout the day for breaking news, local news, weather and even an occasional moment of Zen showcasing breathtaking sights from across Arizona.

On social media: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Before You Leave, Check This Out