Today, Western Resource Advocates welcomed the release of tentative agreements shared by the seven states in the Colorado River Basin, an effort to provide water security to the 40 million people who rely on the river.
According to the latest hydrologic reports, 2018 has been one of the driest years on record, adding to the stresses on the river, which supplies water to some of the fastest-growing communities in the United States. In August, the Bureau of Reclamation reported that water levels in Lake Mead are falling so fast that mandatory cutbacks of the water delivered to Arizona and Nevada could be required by 2020.
Western Resource Advocates is among the group of businesses, water experts, local governments, and conservation organizations working together to find the best ways to protect the health of the Colorado River while meeting the needs of cities, farms, and businesses.
Bart Miller, Healthy Rivers Program Director for Western Resource Advocates, issued the following statement about the progress:
“The proposed Drought Contingency Plans shared this week are a significant step in the right direction for the farmers, communities, and businesses who depend on the Colorado River for drinking water, recreation, and irrigation. While much work remains to be done, we applaud the progress that has been made so far, and we encourage all of the major parties to stay at the negotiating table and continue to be transparent as the documents move toward becoming final.
“After years of drought and over-use, the Colorado River is at a crisis point. We must take decisive, proactive steps now, or states across the West will lose water they rely on. We believe that collaborative solutions can be found to mitigate impacts to water users, protect our communities, encourage appropriate economic growth, and preserve the iconic rivers, habitat, and species of the American West.”