Pressure Builds As States Miss Deadline In Colorado River Water Crisis

"The seven states that depend on the Colorado River have failed to meet a Tuesday deadline for agreeing on a water-use reduction plan, raising the likelihood of more friction as the West grapples with how to manage the shrinking river.

In a bid to influence federal officials after contentious negotiations reached an impasse, six of the seven states submitted a last-minute proposal outlining possible cuts to help prevent reservoirs from falling to dangerously low levels, presenting a unified front while leaving out California, which uses the single largest share of the river.

Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming called their plan a “consensus-based modeling alternative” that could serve as a framework for negotiating a solution. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had set an end-of-January deadline for the seven states to reach a consensus. But California officials opposed making evaporation and other water losses in the river’s Lower Basin part of the calculation, as the change would translate to bigger supply cuts for the state."

Ian James reports for the Los Angeles Times January 31, 2023.


"California Releases Its Own Plan For Colorado River Cuts" (AP)

"The River’s End: Amid Colorado Water Cuts, Mexico Seeks To Restore Its Lost Oasis" (Los Angeles Times)

"Colorado River in Crisis: A Times Series on the Southwest's Shrinking Water Lifeline" (Los Angeles Times)

Source: LA Times, 02/01/2023