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Sentinel awarded grant to dig into Arizona water-supply issues

The Tucson Sentinel has been awarded a grant for investigative reporting on water-supply issues in Arizona. The funding will cover a months-long project by a team of Sentinel journalists.

The Water Desk, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder, announced the grant — one of 11 awarded — this week. The Sentinel's "Bad Water" reporting, undertaken by senior reporter Paul Ingram, IDEA reporter Bennito L. Kelty and Sentinel editor Dylan Smith, will be part of a series of stories supported by the Water Desk on issues within the Colorado River Basin.

"The grantees will be reporting on a range of critical water issues facing the region, including climate change, drought, pollution, growth, biodiversity, agriculture and energy. Many of the journalists will be exploring equity issues in the water sector," the Water Desk said.

"We're very pleased and excited to receive this Water Desk grant," said Smith. "Equitable access to quality water is a fundamental issue for many Arizonans. We look forward to digging into this project, which will find the Sentinel reporting from small rural hamlets and overlooked urban pockets about the daunting challenges so many people face when it comes to clean, healthy running water and working sewer/septic systems."

"These stories, which we'll publish in both English and Spanish, are at the core of the Sentinel's mission: to give voice to those who are often unheard, and cast a light on what's been overlooked and unseen," Smith said.

Other grantees include the independent freelance reporters, staffers at the Voice of San Diego, Mother Jones, NPR in Northern Colorado, and the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

The Water Desk grants are supported by the Walton Family Foundation.

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