Lower Basin States Reach Temporary Agreement to Conserve Millions of Gallons of Colorado River Water
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, May 22, 2023 11:22 am
NEVADA – In a significant move towards water conservation, Nevada, Arizona, and California have reached a temporary agreement aimed at conserving millions of gallons of water from the Colorado River. The agreement, announced by the U.S. Department of Interior on Monday, seeks to conserve a minimum of “3 million acre-feet of water through the end of 2026.”
The proposal places a strong emphasis on making early and substantial contributions to minimize the risk of critically low water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, as outlined in the release. This development follows a recent increase in water levels at Lake Mead, which saw a rise of 12 feet due to the melting of Colorado’s heavy snowpack and an experimental water release from Lake Powell.
Secretary Deb Haaland highlighted the significance of this agreement, stating, “There are 40 million people, seven states, and 30 Tribal Nations who rely on the Colorado River Basin for basic services such as drinking water and electricity.”
White House officials have indicated that approximately 2.3 million acre-feet of water will be conserved by compensating individuals, states, and Tribal Nations to reduce their water usage, with funding sourced from the Inflation Reduction Act.
While the proposal was reached ahead of the May 30 deadline, it still awaits final approval.
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