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Arizona Senate committee OKs $1 billion to secure water resources

An Arizona Senate committee approved a plan to provide $1 billion over the next three years to revamp the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority. 

Seventy-five percent of the money has to be spent to acquire water outside the state. That has led to options like building a desalination plant to treat water from the Sea of Cortez. 

Sen. Victoria Steele (D-Tucson) pointed out those projects will take years to complete. 

“All of these pieces in this bill are critical,” Steele said. “And we have to move it along. I get it. But these things are so much further into the future. And we're at DEFCON 5 now. We need to do something now.”

Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke noted the possibility of Lake Mead and Lake Powell reaching “dead pool,” when no water will be available. 

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.