Phoenix/ Community & Society
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Published on June 21, 2024
Phoenix City Council Approves $2 Million Partnership With National Forest Foundation to Protect Water SupplySource: Google Street View

The Phoenix City Council has once again demonstrated their commitment to the environment by approving a multi-million dollar partnership with the National Forest Foundation. This collaboration aims to rejuvenate the Salt and Verde River watersheds, which are essential for the city's water supply. The agreement promises to infuse $2,000,000 over the next decade into initiatives that significantly reduce the risk of forest fires and improve watershed health, as reported by the City of Phoenix.

Mayor Kate Gallego is on board with the decision, stating, "The health of our forests directly impacts the quality of our water." Troy Hayes, Director of the Phoenix Water Services Department, believes it's imperative to proactively guard against the threats of forest fires to maintain water quality. Hayes told the City of Phoenix, "By investing in forest restoration and watershed enhancement projects, we are taking a proactive approach to safeguard our water resources." In essence, this deal allows Phoenix to continue to build upon its environmental preservation efforts.

The NFF partnership focuses on projects critical for maintaining stable soil conditions, reducing sediment, and restoring riparian habitats. Noteworthy efforts include ongoing and future projects like the restoration of the Lower Salt River and fire risk management in areas like Pine Canyon. Cynthia Campbell, the city's Water Resources Management Advisor, underscored the importance of this relationship in a statement obtained by the City of Phoenix, "Healthy forests are the foundation of a healthy watershed."

This continued collaboration between Phoenix and the NFF has been fruitful since its inception in 2015, with accolades such as the Crescordia and President’s Award for Sustainability Champion from Arizona Forward marking their success. The extended partnership promises to further enhance and to solidify the sustainability and resilience of the region. The City of Phoenix Water Services Department remains committed to the stewardship of natural resources, ensuring a lasting water supply for its residents, businesses, and visitors alike.