"Colorado River Water Sharing Agreement Likely Dodges Legal Fight"

"A messy Colorado River legal fight is much less likely in the near term now that the seven river basin states have reached consensus on how to conserve water amid a historic 23-year drought, legal observers say.

The consensus proposal respects water rights by relying mainly on voluntary conservation and “goes a very long way to avoiding what would have been costly and divisive litigation,” said Jay Weiner, of counsel at Rosette LLP, who represents the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe.

The Colorado River water conservation proposal announced Monday to cut at least 3 million acre-feet of water use in the basin through 2026 would prevent the Interior Department from needing to impose federally mandated water cuts that the states were trying hard to avoid.

Many water users will be compensated for their conservation measures using some of the $4.6 billion in federal drought contingency funding provided by Congress in last year’s climate law (Public Law 117-169)."

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment May 23,2023.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 05/24/2023