By Terri Jo Neff |
Several critical water infrastructure projects will move forward across Arizona, funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
Nearly a dozen projects throughout the state will be funded as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2022 Spend Plan. The $18.5 million in funding was signed into law last November by President Joe Biden, although the authority for the water infrastructure projects in Arizona tracks back to the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 signed by then-President Donald Trump.
The funds are intended for projects to help small, rural, and tribal communities across the state meet their water and wastewater infrastructure needs. Under the authority, federal funds cover 75 percent of a project’s total cost and go towards assisting with design and construction.
The first project to be funded under the authority is already under way—a critical water pipeline for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. The $578,000 pipeline project will boost water security for the community and support future growth in the area, according to supporters.
Other projects in Arizona to be funded under the Corps’ 2022 Spend Plan include:
- $3.5 million for construction of a waterline in the city of Maricopa
- $3 million for construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the Middle Verde District of the Yavapai-Apache Nation
- $2.25 million to make wastewater treatment plant improvements in Buckeye
- $2.25 million to install backup generators for Pima County’s water reclamation facility
- $2.25 million to install reclaimed water pipeline and rehabilitate existing infiltration gallery at the Queen Creek Restoration Project in Superior
- $1.5 million to construct the WF Killip Elementary School Regional Flood Detention basin in Flagstaff to mitigate post-fire flooding
- $1.2 million to continue construction of Flagstaff Downtown Flood Lateral Tunnel to provide flood protection
- $1.155 million to make improvements to the water filtration treatment plant in Kearny
- $772,500 for water system improvements in Quartzite
A separate water infrastructure plan being funded through the Corps will provide $65.7 million to complete a flood control project for the Little Colorado River. The project consists of new and reconstructed levees which will protect the community of Winslow and other areas of Navajo County.
The current levee system is in danger of overtopping or failing in a 100-year flood event. This places nearly 1,600 structures—including almost all of the community’s critical public facilities such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and utilities—at risk.