Colorado River Indian Tribes Farm Improvements
Established in 1865, the Colorado River Indian Reservation was set aside for indigenous residents of the Colorado River and its tributaries. Today, the Reservation includes approximately 300,000 acres of lands and is primarily home to four distinct tribes – the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi, and Navajo. The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) have territory that stretches along 56 miles of lower Colorado River lands with the majority of their reservation located in Arizona.
The Colorado River Indian Tribes Farm is an extensive 2700 acre holding. Irrigation infrastructure on the CRIT lands is in need of upgrading, and the CRIT are implementing a number of projects to install precision drip irrigation on 1400 acres of agricultural lands, and improve water delivery canal systems.
CRIT Farms construction of a canal lining project will increase efficiency and reduce water loss. The project proposes to use geomembrane and concrete to line a segment of a canal measured to have the highest seepage rate on the CRIT Irrigation Project to reduce conveyance loss, more efficiently and reliably deliver water for irrigation, and reduce demand at the CRIT Point of Diversion on the Colorado River. Successful completion of the project will also reduce water table elevations in the adjacent fields, and support salinity reduction goals on those fields. Over time, the CRIT canal lining project, in combination with a larger suite of irrigation modernization and fallowing actions, will generate “conserved water.” Over the long-term, CRIT Farms will play a part in increasing water security for central Arizona water users.
* Project supports agricultural water use efficiency to reduce the amount of water withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources.