President Donald Trump last week signed S 2850, a bill that will provide funds to complete Miner Flat Dam, which is key to protecting the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s at-risk water supply.

The bill amended the White Mountain Apache Tribe Water Rights Quantification Act of 2010 to allow the tribe to use settlement funds to continue the design and construction of a rural water system.

Problems developed last year with the dam, located on the North Fork of the White River, including seepage and stability issues that caused project costs overruns for funds allocated by the feds for the dam, which is associated with the White Mountain Apache Tribe Rural Water System. The new law will allow the tribe to use settlement funds from a water rights case resolved a few years ago (granting some rights to the tribe and some to local non-reservation governmental bodies) to address these issues.

The project includes a roller-compacted concrete dam, about 160 feet high, a reservoir with a water storage capacity of about 8,620 acre-feet, a water treatment system designed to treat 14.55 million gallons of water per day, storage tanks, and about 60 miles of pipe that would start at the proposed dam site about 12 miles north of Whiteriver and eventually extend to Cibecue.

Completion of the approximately $200 million project is expected to boost economic development for the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Source : Press Release