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Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

A large coalition is committing $8 million to plug a funding gap in a program that helps to conserve water in Arizona amid the region's worsening drought.

Why it matters: The announcement shows how coalitions of businesses, nonprofits and state and Native American groups can together pursue agreements to address water management in the Southwest.

Driving the news: The money closes a funding gap needed to complete a $38 million, three-year water conservation program with the state of Arizona and the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

  • Through the program, the tribes are fallowing thousands of acres of farmlands in order to conserve water.
  • Corporate funders include Microsoft, Google, Procter & Gamble, Target and Intel. Philanthropic backers include the Walton Family Foundation and the Water Funder Initiative.

The big picture: The money will complete what funders call one of the largest multisector drought response efforts yet, which has worked to save nearly 150,000 acre-feet (49 billion gallons) of water through the tribes' conservation system.

The details: Kevin Moran of the Environmental Defense Fund, which helped facilitate the agreement, said this project and others elsewhere on the river have helped prevent water shortage declarations.

  • But one will almost certainly be needed this year due to the drought's severity and Lake Mead's record low level.
  • Arizona, for example, is expecting to have to cut its portion of water from Lake Mead by about 167 billion gallons in 2022, a press release states.
  • As of June 15, 87% of Arizona was in "extreme" to "exceptional" drought.

The bottom line: "It's clear that Arizona and the Southwest are ground zero for the impacts of climate change," Moran told Axios.

Go deeper

Interest in Arizona voucher system surges among parents against mask mandates

An employee wearing a protective mask distributes laptop computers to students at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Greg Ducey is offering $7,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to parents whose children's school requires them to wear masks, KJZZ reports.

Driving the news: Interest in the program, which enables parents to use the funds to send their child to a different private school, has surged since applications opened in August, per the National Public Radio member station in Phoenix.

2 hours ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

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