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Gov. Doug Ducey wants to spend $30M in COVID-19 funds on Colorado River water rights

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey wants to invest $30 million from the COVID-19 relief fund to protect the state’s access to the Colorado River water supply.

The state’s efforts to protect its Colorado River water supply involve plans to negotiate with tribes and others that hold water rights. The state wants to use the $30 million to buy the water rights. This is an addition to the $10 million that was requested earlier this year.

The drought in Arizona has created a consistent water shortage, and officials have considered this during their planning process.

“It’s not just trying to buy time and hope the river recovers. It’s trying to stabilize the lake levels," said Tom Butschatzke, the director of the Department of Water Resources.

He says future plans will be designed to create more permanent solutions. One of the solutions could possibly be desalinating water from the Sea of Cortez, but issues ranging from politics to technology could get in the way. Still, he says, that plan is only an idea for the far future.

Reyna Preciado started her internship with KJZZ in August 2021. She is a senior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, focusing on community-related stories.She previously had been pursuing a major in biochemistry, but switched directions after becoming a server. During her time serving, she found that so many people had stories to share and so many voices deserved to be heard.She loved to write in her AP English classes in high school, so she made the decision to use her writing and communication skills to major in broadcast journalism. It was always a dream of hers to become a news anchor after being cast as an anchor in a fourth-grade newscast. It was silly, but it stuck with her, and she was eager to follow her dream when she was finally inspired to change directions. Now, she continues being inspired by the many voices within her community that have been waiting for an opportunity to be able to address what's important to them.When she is not working on a story, she likes to cook, sing and hang out with her crazy toddler.