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Topic: Western drought?
Member # 2917
Colorado River states need to drastically cut down their water usage ASAP, or the federal government will step in!
During a U.S. Senate hearing on Western drought earlier this week, the commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation told the states in the Colorado River Basin that they have 60 days to create an emergency plan to stop using between 2 and 4 million acre-feet of water in the next year or the agency will use its emergency authority to make the cuts itself.
For context, the entire state of Arizona is allowed to use 2.8 million acre-feet of Colorado River water each year.
The Colorado River system supplies water and hydropower to millions of people in the West and is the lifeblood of the seven states and 30 native tribes in the river’s basin. The river system has reached critically low levels amid decades of drought and warming temperatures, which dries out soil that then saps the moisture from snowmelt that would otherwise flow into rivers and reservoirs.
Touton said the seven states must “stay at the table until the job is done.”
The federal direction comes just a month after the bureau announced it wouldl hold back water in Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border. It’s the first time the agency has used its emergency power to delay a release of water from Lake Powell that normally goes to Arizona, California and Nevada. Instead, the federal agency plans to keep more than 480,000 acre-feet of water in the reservoir to prop up supplies to protect hydropower production.
In a separate action announced earlier this year, upper-basin states worked with the Bureau of Reclamation on a plan to send another 500,000 acre-feet to Lake Powell from Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Utah-Wyoming border under their drought response agreement for the year.
(BBS Staff Note: Hum hydro generation and food farmers need water?)
That is all.....
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