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Ak-Chin Community Suing Central Arizona Water Conservation District

An Arizona tribe is suing the largest supplier of water in the state. The Ak-Chin Community says the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, which transports water from Lake Mead, is planning to shortchange them.

This isn’t the first time the district has tried to deny the tribe this 10,000 acre feet share of water, which is supposed to be delivered any year when sufficient surface water is available.

According to court documents, the agency has tried to do that before, but the federal government usually intervenes. That doesn’t look like it will happen next year based on recent statements despite a big winter.

“We are kind of scratching our heads at that, that should be more water for the state of Arizona,” Chairman Robert Miguel said. “In recent years they have attempted to short Ak-Chin water, and the government has stood behind our back and advised that it is secure.”

Miguel says he’s not sure why the new administration hasn’t taken a position on this yet. The lawyer for the district said in a statement that this lawsuit is the result of differing interpretations of ambiguous language and not about withholding water but rather a mutual desire to seek clarity.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.