The Colorado River, which supplies water to close to 40 million people in the Southwest, has been declared to be experiencing a historic water shortage by the federal government. Ben Tracy, a national environmental correspondent for CBS News, reported
The federal government has declared a Tier 2a water shortage for the first time ever. This means that Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada will have to use less water from Lake Mead starting in the new year. Arizona will have to reduce its water withdrawals by 21%, Nevada by 8%, and Mexico by 7%; California, the river’s largest water user, opted not to make any changes.
For Colorado River operations, the federal government already issued a first-of-its-kind Tier 1 shortage declaration last year. Arizona took the biggest hit and had to scale back water deliveries to its cotton and alfalfa farmers as a result of that declaration’s requirement that Nevada, Mexico, and Arizona reduce their water intake from the river in accordance with a drought contingency plan signed back in 2019.
The same states are subject to additional cuts under the new Tier 2a declaration, and Arizona is once again the hardest hit. In addition to the 500,000 acre-feet it lost in the previous round, the state will now lose an additional 80,000 acre-feet of water, or one-fifth of its total allotment. (Approximately 320,000 gallons make up an acre-foot.
#news #climate #coloradoriver
Teirstein, Z. (2022, August 16). Federal government announces historic water cuts as Colorado River falls to new lows. Grist. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://grist.org/politics/federal-government-announces-historic-water-cuts-as-colorado-river-falls-to-new-lows/
Ramirez, E. N. (2022, August 16). New water cuts coming for Southwest as Colorado River falls into Tier 2 shortage | CNN. CNN. Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/16/us/colorado-river-water-cuts-lake-mead-negotiations-climate/index.html