Unprecedented Shortage Triggers New Water Cuts on Colorado River
Washington – The federal government announced on Tuesday new water cuts in Arizona and Nevada following a climate change-induced drought that is affecting the Colorado River and its reservoirs.
Arizona will face the largest cut of 592,000 acre-feet of water, which is approximately 21% of its annual apportionment, while Nevada will face a reduction of 25,000 acre-feet of water, which is 8% of its annual apportionment.
“Every sector in every state has a responsibility to ensure that water is used with maximum efficiency,” said Tanya Trujillo, the Department of Interior’s assistant secretary for water and science.
“In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River System and a future of uncertainty and conflict, water use in the Basin must be reduced,” Trujillo pointed out.
More than 40 million people across seven states and at least 22 tribal nations rely on the river for drinking water.
Continued depletion of the river’s flow and its reservoirs could further disrupt water delivery and hydropower production for Arizona, Nevada and parts of California within the Lower Colorado River Basin.
The Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora also rely on the Colorado River for drinking water and agricultural irrigation.