House Passes McCain-Flake Bill To Complete White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Settlement


Date: July 24, 2018
Location: Washington, DC

The U.S. House of Representatives last night passed legislation cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) that would fully implement the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Settlement. This agreement clarifies the use of certain water settlement funds by the White Mountain Apache Tribe for construction of the Miner Flat Dam. The legislation, which was previously passed by the Senate, will now be sent to the president's desk for signature.

The legislation, S. 2850, would authorize the Interior Department to use previously authorized funds from the 2010 White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Settlement to address cost overruns on the dam project stemming from unanticipated geologic issues. This would pave the way for the dam's completion, which is essential for the tribe to use its water.

"The federal government owes it to the White Mountain Apache Tribe to follow through on the commitment it made seven years ago to build the Miner Flat Dam," said Senator McCain, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. "This legislation would resolve the tribe's claims to the Salt River in Arizona and pave the way for the completion of the Miner Flat Dam and Reservoir, which are key to protecting the Tribe's at-risk water supply."

"In states like Arizona, water settlements are crucial to ensuring tribes receive the water rights they are entitled to while other water users are given the certainty they require," said Senator Flake. "I am pleased that my colleagues approved this common sense legislation, which helps to ensure settlement funds may be used by the tribe to best serve their people and improve their communities."