Sunday, June 23, 2024

New Arizona water infrastructure projects kicked off on Monday

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PHOENIX — Several new Arizona water infrastructure projects are officially ready for construction, authorities announced.

“Water is arguably the most important issue facing the future of Arizona,” Rep. Greg Stanton told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

Stanton was scheduled to join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and several Arizona mayors for a signing ceremony that will set the projects into motion later in the morning.

In order to combat the state’s long-term drought conditions, leaders must launch a wide range of water sustainability projects, he said.

“Today we’re announcing a series of smaller projects, but critically important projects to rural towns, to smaller towns, the tribal communities, etc.,” Stanton said. “Their water success is critical to the future of Arizona.”

What are the new Arizona water infrastructure projects?

Stanton said $19 million in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects are signed, meaning funding is in place and construction will start soon.

One of the projects will reactivate the Kyrene Reclamation Facility in Tempe.

The facility, which has been dormant for a long time, will soon collect and treat reclaimed water. Essentially, the reactivation will give the city one more source of water — as well as an expanded groundwater storage system.

“The city of Tempe, which is in my district, we’re going to be funding the reopening of a water reclamation facility to help them better recycle water, meaning they’re going to draw down less of the Colorado River water,” Stanton said.

Additionally, the city of Maricopa will soon be home to a new water facility.

“In the city of Maricopa, we’re going to help to construct an aquifer recharge facility so that we can have more use of groundwater, which is critically important for the drought condition,” he said.

This will enable high-quality water to be recharged within the city.

The cities of Flagstaff and Tolleson will also benefit. Authorities will create a detention basin to collect and detain flood water in Flagstaff. In Tolleson, officials will construct a new well.

Where does funding for the new water projects come from?

The new Arizona water infrastructure projects will be funded under the Arizona Environmental Infrastructure Authority, which Stanton helped create in 2020.

It will ultimately fund $200 million for water projects around the state. It’s already funded a total of $35 million for two dozen projects across Arizona.

Stanton authored the bill, but other members of Congress can find projects through the facility. Sen. Mark Kelly and Rep. Ruben Gallego (CD-3) also use the program, Stanton said.

While these smaller projects are officially ready for construction, Stanton said there are several big water conservation projects he’s working on. One will boost water resources in Phoenix.

“I’m going to work with Mayor [Kate] Gallego and the city of Phoenix on their advanced waterproof purification facility, which will take wastewater and better purify it and put it back into the system without having to draw down more of the Colorado River water,” Stanton said.

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