Arizona works to conserve water in the Colorado River system

Arizona officials gather to celebrate water conservation efforts.
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Officials gathered at Phoenix City Hall earlier this month to mark Arizona’s conservation efforts for the Colorado River system. This meeting, attended by representatives from various cities, tribes and government officials, celebrated the implementation of new conservation agreements aimed at preserving the vital Colorado River.

Generally, the conservation efforts include:

  • New Agreements: The Bureau of Reclamation announced seven new conservation agreements in Arizona. These agreements are expected to save up to 162,710-acre feet of water in Lake Mead by 2026. This effort is part of a broader initiative, with a total of 18 agreements in place, targeting significant water conservation across the state.
  • Why It Matters: These conservation efforts are crucial for maintaining the water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, two significant reservoirs in the Colorado River system. With these reservoirs facing critically low water levels, these measures are essential to prevent further decline.
  • Arizona’s Role: Governor Katie Hobbs highlighted the importance of these efforts for Arizona’s economic sustainability. The state has been proactive, with various entities committing to conservation efforts that are expected to save up to 348,680-acre feet of water in 2023 and up to 984,429 acre-feet through 2026.
  • Broader Context: The Colorado River system is under stress due to persistent drought conditions, exacerbated by climate change. These agreements aim to finance voluntary conservation to protect the river’s reservoir storage volumes.
  • Funding: The new conservation investments, totaling $63.4 million, are part of the Lower Colorado River Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program. This program is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Image via news release from the Arizona Department of Water ResourcesOpens in a new tab..


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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