U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran
U.S. Rep. Tom O'Halleran (AZ-1) makes remarks to Big Oil executives at the House subcommittee hearing on April 6, 2022. [U.S. House via YouTube]

Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted Thursday to pass the Water Resources and Development Act with $40 million of funding for water and wastewater infrastructure in Pinal County.

The legislation, reauthorized successfully in a bipartisan process every Congress since 2014, provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water resources development projects and studies across the nation, promoting trade and shoring up supply chains at our ports, harbors and inland waterways.

The Corps also works to reduce flood damage, fund clean water and wastewater infrastructure projects in rural and tribal communities, and provide resources to study western reservoirs, storage and systems to better increase supply and fight climate change.

In Pinal County, the 56-mile Santa Rosa Canal delivers Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project to agricultural and tribal lands. The Canal is federally owned, but operated and maintained by the Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage district and associated facilities under contract with the Bureau of Reclamation. This proposal would construct alternative conveyance facilities for district groundwater in lieu of continued use of the Santa Rosa Canal for delivery of that supply.

“Passing WRDA is key to preserving our nation’s economy, strengthening U.S. and international commerce from our ports and harbors, protecting Southwestern communities and businesses and the ever-decreasing supply of water we have in Arizona, and fighting factors of climate change that lead to these shortages,” O’Halleran said in a news release. “As a leader in Arizona water policy since 1998, I know that our bipartisan bill is essential for our state as we continue to endure over two decades of drought, and will assist rural and tribal communities in addressing water and wastewater infrastructure challenges.”

The congressman’s district includes the city of Maricopa.