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Bill to block casino could increase water rates

If U.S. Congressman Trent Franks’ H.R. 2938 (Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Clarification Act) passes, Arizonans’ water bills may increase again. But his bill isn’t actually about water at all. The bill was submitted to prevent construction of a casino on a strip of land between Peoria and Glendale. The 25-year-old government treaty with the Tohono O’odham Nation allows the tribe to acquire land to replace the part of its reservation that was flooded due to construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. In the deal, the tribe also surrendered its rights to 32,000 acre-feet of water each year.

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