Jon Kyl is a lawyer and former Arizona Senator, serving from 1995-2013. Senator Kyl was the driving force behind the Arizona Water Settlements Act.

Senator Jon Kyl: Fascinated by water

(The story below is built around a recorded interview.)

When Arizona Senator Jon Kyl graduated from law school, he joined Jennings Strouss & Salmon, a Phoenix law firm that historically represented Salt River Project, so he was quickly exposed to water issues.

“It (water issues) was fascinating to me and once you get into it and know something about it, then you realize its significance,” said Kyl.

So when Kyl was elected to the US House of Representatives and then the US Senate, people naturally turned to him because of his experience and interest in water.

“The thing that has always struck me is that throughout Arizona history, starting when we were a territory, there were people who foresaw the need to do something about a water problem, worked together to get something done about it,” said Senator Kyl.

And Senator Kyl continued that tradition, leading the efforts to pass the Arizona Water Settlements Act. The Act marked a major milestone for Arizona, finalizing CAP allocations, authorizing the Gila River Indian Community settlement and finalizing the repayment agreement for CAP construction.

“Each moment in our state's history when we needed to have a group of people come together and work on the next set of water problems, it happened. It was frequently bi-partisan; it was almost all bi-partisan in terms of politics. The water interests all fought each other but they fought each other with a set of rules that resulted in good water policy for the state,” said Kyl. “I think that is something the state can be enormously proud of.”

Read Jon Kyl's Oral History Transcript