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Tombstone, Arizona, Water Supply Fiasco

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GOSAR. Last week, the ninth circuit court heard a case regarding Tombstone, Arizona's right to access its water supply. Last year, a devastating combination of wildfires and monsoons struck Tombstone, leaving only 3 of its 25 springs in operation. Tombstone has been engaged in a yearlong standoff with the Federal Government over the repairs that will restore the town's water supply because those springs are in wilderness areas and they are prohibited from using mechanized equipment to make the necessary repairs.

This situation is not unique. A similar disaster occurred in northern Arizona after the 2010 Schultz Pass fire. The Inner Basin pipeline, infrastructure that delivers water to Flagstaff, was severed during catastrophic floods that followed the fire. In our case, a lawsuit wasn't necessary, but it took my team and the city over a year to persuade multiple agencies to allow for repairs. Last month, I took the first sip of water out of the repaired infrastructure with Mayor Jerry Nabours.

Our communities shouldn't need their Congressman or a lawsuit to make basic repairs to infrastructure. The Federal Government should work with us, not against us, to preserve western water supplies.

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