Central Arizona Project recognizes CRIT for fallow agreement

The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) was recognized by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for signing the System Conservation Agreement with the State of Arizona and the crucial role of the Tribes in drought relief.

To help Arizona fulfill its Drought Contingency Plan obligations, CRIT has pledged to fallow farmland in order to contribute 150,000 acre-feet over three years to help maintain water levels in Lake Mead. CRIT will be paid $38 million as compensation for fallowing 10,000 acres of farm land to make this water available as system conservation.

CRIT Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch and council members were in attendance at the CAP Board of Directors meeting Thursday in Phoenix.

“CRIT is committed to saving the life of the Colorado River by contributing real water, not water that exists only on paper,” Patch said. “Our efforts will help maintain water levels in Lake Mead, which is critical to the DCP.”

Vice Chairman Keith Moses said, “This agreement reaffirms CRIT’s rights to Colorado River water and ensures we are fairly compensated.”

The System Conservation Agreement among the CAP, the State of Arizona, the Bureau of Reclamation and CRIT was recently signed, representing a major step in drought relief for Arizona. In April, the basin-wide Drought Contingency Plan was signed into law.

In January, CRIT voters approved a measure that permits the Tribe to lease a portion of its Colorado River entitlement. Federal legislation to permit leasing CRIT water would provide further drought relief for Arizona and generate economic opportunities for CRIT and its people.

CRIT has the first priority decreed water right to divert 719,248 acre-feet per year to serve lands in both Arizona and California. System inefficiencies in the BIA Colorado River Irrigation Project, and a lack of infrastructure for agriculture development prevent the Tribes from fully utilizing its water.

40 comments

  1. Elane Alewyn

    Won’t that negatively impact the hay market and hurt Animal Agriculture? Unfairly compensates farmers for non-farming.

  2. Elane Alewyn

    Won’t that negatively impact the hay market and hurt Animal Agriculture? Unfairly compensates farmers for non-farming.

  3. Elane Alewyn

    Won’t that negatively impact the hay market and hurt Animal Agriculture? Unfairly compensates farmers for non-farming.

  4. Elane Alewyn

    Won’t that negatively impact the hay market and hurt Animal Agriculture? Unfairly compensates farmers for non-farming.

  5. John Wright

    It would be hard to argue that CRIT has any obligation to use its land for agriculture. Its native state is desert.

  6. John Wright

    It would be hard to argue that CRIT has any obligation to use its land for agriculture. Its native state is desert.

  7. John Wright

    It would be hard to argue that CRIT has any obligation to use its land for agriculture. Its native state is desert.

  8. John Wright

    It would be hard to argue that CRIT has any obligation to use its land for agriculture. Its native state is desert.

  9. Elane Alewyn

    John Wright they actually grow and sell a LOT of alfalfa hay for cattle use.

  10. Elane Alewyn

    John Wright they actually grow and sell a LOT of alfalfa hay for cattle use.

  11. Elane Alewyn

    John Wright they actually grow and sell a LOT of alfalfa hay for cattle use.

  12. Elane Alewyn

    John Wright they actually grow and sell a LOT of alfalfa hay for cattle use.

  13. Elane Alewyn

    So. CA farmers contract with them.

  14. Elane Alewyn

    So. CA farmers contract with them.

  15. Elane Alewyn

    So. CA farmers contract with them.

  16. Elane Alewyn

    So. CA farmers contract with them.

  17. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure it does, that is why the land is in “Agriable Status” with water being assigned to the land, for that purpose- Agriculture. If your implying its native state is desert, why not just take all its water away then? Lol

  18. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure it does, that is why the land is in “Agriable Status” with water being assigned to the land, for that purpose- Agriculture. If your implying its native state is desert, why not just take all its water away then? Lol

  19. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure it does, that is why the land is in “Agriable Status” with water being assigned to the land, for that purpose- Agriculture. If your implying its native state is desert, why not just take all its water away then? Lol

  20. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure it does, that is why the land is in “Agriable Status” with water being assigned to the land, for that purpose- Agriculture. If your implying its native state is desert, why not just take all its water away then? Lol

  21. John Wright

    Good point! I don’t think that necessarily dictates how much of the land they open for farming (currently only a portion of the reservation is set aside for that use) but you’re right, there’s an expectation that they will. Course, everybody’s happy when that water gets used for other things, because there can be economic gain from that too.

  22. John Wright

    Good point! I don’t think that necessarily dictates how much of the land they open for farming (currently only a portion of the reservation is set aside for that use) but you’re right, there’s an expectation that they will. Course, everybody’s happy when that water gets used for other things, because there can be economic gain from that too.

  23. John Wright

    Good point! I don’t think that necessarily dictates how much of the land they open for farming (currently only a portion of the reservation is set aside for that use) but you’re right, there’s an expectation that they will. Course, everybody’s happy when that water gets used for other things, because there can be economic gain from that too.

  24. John Wright

    Good point! I don’t think that necessarily dictates how much of the land they open for farming (currently only a portion of the reservation is set aside for that use) but you’re right, there’s an expectation that they will. Course, everybody’s happy when that water gets used for other things, because there can be economic gain from that too.

  25. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure, economic gain elsewhere, or econimc loss here, where the farms are. And employment, and now fertile fields not being used, along with the irrigation system not being used( like another portion of money was set aside for improvemnets on). I guess it depends how you wanna look at it lol. Gain in the metro area or here to our local economy through production/commerce

  26. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure, economic gain elsewhere, or econimc loss here, where the farms are. And employment, and now fertile fields not being used, along with the irrigation system not being used( like another portion of money was set aside for improvemnets on). I guess it depends how you wanna look at it lol. Gain in the metro area or here to our local economy through production/commerce

  27. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure, economic gain elsewhere, or econimc loss here, where the farms are. And employment, and now fertile fields not being used, along with the irrigation system not being used( like another portion of money was set aside for improvemnets on). I guess it depends how you wanna look at it lol. Gain in the metro area or here to our local economy through production/commerce

  28. David Page Jr.

    John Wright sure, economic gain elsewhere, or econimc loss here, where the farms are. And employment, and now fertile fields not being used, along with the irrigation system not being used( like another portion of money was set aside for improvemnets on). I guess it depends how you wanna look at it lol. Gain in the metro area or here to our local economy through production/commerce

  29. John Wright

    As I understand it, millions of dollars are coming to CRIT for it, and the plans are to spend it all right here.

  30. John Wright

    As I understand it, millions of dollars are coming to CRIT for it, and the plans are to spend it all right here.

  31. John Wright

    As I understand it, millions of dollars are coming to CRIT for it, and the plans are to spend it all right here.

  32. John Wright

    As I understand it, millions of dollars are coming to CRIT for it, and the plans are to spend it all right here.

  33. David Page Jr.

    John Wright that would be great, if, you do think that will happen.🤷🏻‍♂️.

  34. David Page Jr.

    John Wright that would be great, if, you do think that will happen.🤷🏻‍♂️.

  35. David Page Jr.

    John Wright that would be great, if, you do think that will happen.🤷🏻‍♂️.

  36. David Page Jr.

    John Wright that would be great, if, you do think that will happen.🤷🏻‍♂️.

  37. will they Built a water Park to play for kids

  38. We actually are able to use every bit of the allotted water, there are farms and farmers who lost everything when this started. Our irrigation system is one of the largest and our delivery and water quality have been rated in the top ten irrigation systems in the country for several years. I am an Irrigation System Operater for the federal government and a CRIT tribal member. Our valley is green and supports a huge amount of wildlife.

  39. Thanks for weighing in Richard!

  40. My question is who will determine what farms go fallow? Will it be CRIT owned/run farms or farms on land leased from the Tribes? If it is the farmers who lease land from CRIT, will they be required to continue their lease payments, while not producing the land? How about providing for their families? If it is CRIT (owned/run) farms, will this result in layoffs of farm workers? Will other jobs be found or provided for them? We know that CRIT doesn’t participate in the Arizona State unemployment compensation program, so there’s no safety net for anyone who may be laid off. This could be a good thing for both the Tribes, bringing in extra money (hopefully for the benefit of their members) and for all Colorado River users, helping to stave off mandatory restrictions from low water reserves.

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