Videos and PDF transcripts of the bulk of last week’s Colorado River Water Users Association conference are now available on the Association’s website. The 2022 annual conference was held December 14-16 in Las Vegas.
Over allocation, combined with the ongoing drought and climate change, are contributing to an alarming shortage of water in the system’s reservoirs. The two largest, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are only 25% full and in danger of reaching dead pool. The Association shared the following tweet:
The #ColoradoRiver’s largest reservoirs are nearly 3/4 empty and could cut off h2o supplies to CA, AZ & Mexico. @FeliciaMarcus says we must do something that "may seem painful, but that people can acknowledge as being fair,” – via @latimes https://t.co/yqkFrO79i0 #CRWUA2022
— Stanford Water in the West (@WaterintheWest) December 16, 2022
The seven basin states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California have until January 31 to negotiate major water cuts and present their plan to the Bureau of Reclamation; otherwise, the Bureau will provide its own solution to save the system. “We know that inaction is not the answer. And insufficient action will mean serious consequences for the entire [Colorado River] Basin. Because if a solution is not developed by the Basin, Commissioner Touton will figure it out for us. And as much as I enjoy working with the Commissioner, I think it’s better for everyone if the federal government doesn’t make these tough decisions. That sentiment is shared by many of my Senate colleagues. No matter what Basin state we represent, we all want water users to take the lead,” said Arizona’s Senator Mark Kelly.