Western States Finalize Landmark Drought Plan For Colorado River Water

"Feds welcome “drought contingency” plan to avert crisis still likely after 19-year shift to aridity"

"Faced with reservoirs less than half full along the Colorado River, federal authorities and negotiators for Colorado and six other Western states on Tuesday finalized a landmark plan to share the burden of voluntarily using less water as growing cities and warming temperatures deplete the supply for 40 million people.

This “drought contingency” plan completed by the seven Western states to meet an extended federal deadline is “meant to avoid a crisis on the river,” said U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman.

After 2026, the feds will look at flows in what scientists project will be a more diminished Colorado River and, working with states, “we will negotiate our next step,” Burman said."

Bruce Finley reports for the Denver Post March 20, 2019.


"Amid 19-Year Drought, States Sign Deal to Conserve Colorado River Water" (New York Times)

"California Board Advances Colorado River Drought Plan" (Bloomberg Environment)

"Water War In California: Two Agencies Fight Over Colorado River Drought Plan With A Crucial Deadline Looming" (CNBC)

"Colorado River: Calif. Backs Drought Plan Despite Water District's Concerns" (Greenwire)

Source: Denver Post, 03/20/2019