Aug 8, 2022
Western Growers applauds $4 billion for drought relief

The climate spending and tax bill, passed by the U.S. Senate on Sunday night, includes $4 billion in drought-relief funding.

The funding, through the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation, was one of the demands Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona) made as an initial holdout. Three other Democrats joined Sinema: Mark Kelly of Arizona, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, and Michael Bennet of Colorado, according to Bloomberg.

The Colorado River Basin funding is critical to specialty crops, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said in a statement.

“We appreciate the determination of Senator Kyrsten Sinema and her colleagues to secure substantial new funding for drought-related priorities in the Colorado River Basin, which supports 5.7 million acres of irrigated agriculture including most of the nation’s winter vegetables as well as other high-value foods such as citrus and melons,” Puglia said in the statement.

“Not only does the Colorado River supply the water and power needs of nearly 40 million people across the West, it sustains the agricultural output of Yuma, Arizona and California’s Imperial Valley,” he said. “Without fast and serious federal assistance, a significant portion of the nation’s food supply hangs in the balance.”

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