Historic Consensus For Colorado River Basin Announced Monday
The Colorado River Basin is going to be analyzed for sustainability and usage by the Biden-Harris Administration.
The Department of the Interior announced on Monday that the seven states have agreed to the submission of a “Lower Basin, consensus-bases system conservation proposal”. Three Lower Basin states said they will conserve 3 million-acre-feet of system water all the way through 2026, the press release said.
“There are 40 million people, seven states, and 30 Tribal Nations who rely on the Colorado River Basin for basic services such as drinking water and electricity. Today’s announcement is a testament to the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to working with states, Tribes and communities throughout the West to find consensus solutions in the face of climate change and sustained drought,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “In particular I want to thank Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau and Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, who have led the discussions with Basin state commissioners, Tribes, irrigators, local communities, and valued stakeholders to reach this critical moment.”
Under the Inflation Reduction Act 2.3 maf will be compensated. The Inflation Reduction will assist with long-term system efficiency, short-term water conservation, and making sure the Colorado River System’s reservoir doesn’t get dangerously low. The Lower Basin states will be in charge of any other needed conservation efforts outside of that under the proposal.
“For over a century, Reclamation has led with solutions grounded in partnership and collaboration. The agreement today continues in this tradition,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “I am proud of the Reclamation team’s work and thank our partners across the basin and the Basin states representatives for reaching this moment. This is an important step forward towards our shared goal of forging a sustainable path for the basin that millions of people call home.”
Sometime in early June, the Department of the Interior will have new guidelines which will replace the guidelines from 2007.
To see the full plan, click here.