PARKER — The Colorado River Indian Tribes Tribal Council has agreed to water conservation measures that will provide $2 million per year in exchange for fallowing 1,884 acres of farmland on the reservation.
The agreement with the Lower Colorado Region of the Bureau of Reclamation will make the conserved water available for storage in Lake Mead. It is estimated that the conserved water will total approximately 11,000 acre-feet a year, according to an emailed statement from CRIT.
The agreement was approved by the Tribal Council at its Aug. 6 meeting. In addition to the economic incentives, CRIT says the fallowed land will be more productive when it is farmed in the future, and some of the revenues will be used to improve CRIT irrigation systems.
Funding for the agreement to leave water in Lake Mead is provided by Reclamation, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Denver Water in the Upper Basin, and the Environmental Defense Fund.
This is not the first time CRIT has aided regional drought relief in ways that benefited the on-reservation economy. In 2016, CRIT approved an agreement to receive $1.6 million a year to fallow 1,591 acres for two years.