U.S. Water News Online
PHOENIX -- Citing failure of federal officials to abide by
an initial agreement made four months ago, the Central Arizona Water
Conservation District has filed suit against the U.S. government over
repayment terms for the Central Arizona Project (CAP).
"We tried as hard as we possibly could to reach resolution," said
district board President Grady Gammage, Jr. "We have hundreds of
hours invested in these negotiations, and it's hard to see that
wasted," added Gammage.
After more than a year and a half of negotiations between the
district and the Department of Interior over the Master Repayment
Contract for CAP, both sides reached an apparent agreement in
February. In its suit filed in U.S. District Court at Phoenix,
however, the Central Arizona district, which operates CAP, charged
that the U.S. backed away from several initial concepts and has
refused to sign the agreement.
What started as an effort to resolve financial differences between
the CAP and the U.S. "has been turned into a discussion about water
for Nevada and a settlement of Indian claims against the federal
government," said Gammage. "I'm grateful that litigation will get us
back to the financial dispute that needs to be resolved." Gammage and
other officials of the Central Arizona district expressed outrage
that Nevada officials became involved in the discussion in an
apparent attempt to claim unused CAP water from the Colorado River
for Las Vegas.
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