Canal 10 Project Will Conserve, Preserve Water for Community
August 5, 2022
The Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project’s (P-MIP) latest development, Canal 10 in Gila River Indian Community’s District 4 Santan broke ground on July 18, marking the beginning of a significant improvement project in the Community.
The new infrastructure will upgrade 11 miles of the existing canal dating from 1877, helping to preserve GRIC water for future generations. In addition, by lining the channel with concrete, Canal 10 will provide water to District 4 farmers and conserve water by preventing loss due to seepage.
According to Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, the project is significant because it will use nearly $50 million to modernize a canal system that is more than a century old.
“Conserving water is part of our history, our tradition, and our value system, and being stewards of our water, this is a living testament to that moving forward,” he said. “And we are fulfilling that obligation by creating a new generation of agriculturalists, water protectors and water conservationists.”
The project is one of five capital developments outlined in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The first—Canal 14 in District 5—broke ground in May.
District 4 Community Council Representative Nada Celaya was happy to see the project begin because it took many years to reach this point. “I want to credit all the hard work that has been done from past to present leadership, including our partners with the Arizona legislators, to go and fight for this success to get this infrastructure built,” she said.
P-MIP Project Manager David DeJong also credits Hunter Contracting, the Bureau of Reclamation and Arizona’s congressional delegation for securing funding for these plans. “There is no better use of these federal dollars than to conserve precious water resources during this extraordinary drought plaguing the Western United States,” he said. “At the same time, the improvements will enable Community growers to cultivate their lands much more efficiently and water-consciously.”
Along with water conservation, the project will provide 60 jobs for the Community in both skilled and unskilled labor. This was important for GRIC leadership so it can continue to provide economic opportunities for its members.
DeJong said the project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2024, adding, “The canal will conserve increasingly scarce water resources, ensuring the Community makes the most efficient use of all its settlement waters.”