P-MIP receives grant from USDA for canal project

Christopher Lomahquahu

Gila River Indian News



The Gila River Indian Community was awarded a grant to fund a portion of the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project by a federal government agency. P-MIP received a grant notification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the amount of $9,090,909, for the construction of a two-year canal project on April 17.

According to a GRIC Communications & Public Affairs Office press release, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Regional Conservation Partnership Program, awarded the Community to help fund a portion of P-MIP’s canal infrastructure. 


“The work proposed under this RCPP program will assist the Community in its efforts to address the effects of the on-going drought in the Lower Colorado River Basin through the regional Drought Contingency Plan,” Dr. David DeJong P-MIP Director. 


For the Community, the RCPP is focused on conserving Colorado River water stored in Lake Mead, reducing the probability of a shortage declaration by the Secretary of the Interior. 


DeJong said, “Improving canals will not only conserve water but result in better water measurement and water use efficiencies for tribal growers.”


The grant allows the Community to proceed with the Canal 13 project, that will start in the late summer of 2021, with a projected completion date of 2023. The section of new canal will span 14.62 miles in length across District 5, in north Casa Blanca, just west of Interstate 10. 


The Community is one of 48 conservation projects, that spans across 29 states, who were selected by the RCPP to receive the grant, which draws from a $200 million pool of funds by the federal government.

 Within the state of Arizona, there are a total of three separate projects in Arizona, that includes the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Community, who were awarded the grant. 


In line with the RCPP’s goals, the grant will also protect and improve soil productivity and conserve water resources for a more sustainable agricultural development. The project will also be in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation, and will address water quality degradation and associated soil quality degradation, that occurs due to upstream diversions.