January 30, 2023 – Tomorrow is the deadline for the seven Colorado River basin states to present a plan on Colorado River allocations to the federal government. If they can’t come up with an agreement, the Bureau of Reclamation will do it for them.
The states include the lower basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada and upper basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Las Vegas’ 8 News Now reports that the states have not come to an agreement, writing “Instead of coming together to solve the problem, the states […] boasted about how much they had already saved — and failed to reach an “adequate” solution by the first deadline in August.”
Other news outlets are reporting that the negotiating process has been contentious, particularly between the lower basin states and their perceptions about California’s efforts to reduce its use of the river.
Although snow pack that will make its way to the Colorado River has been above average so far this year, experts like Michelle Garrison, a water resources specialist at the Colorado Water Conservation Board, warn that “but from here on, it could get really dry just like it did last year.”
The Bureau of Reclamation plans to circulate a draft of proposed cuts by early March, followed by a final decision before mid-August. The Bureau typically announces how much river water is available for the next year in August.