Wednesday June 15, 2022


The largest single batch of water-use cuts ever carried out on the Colorado River is needed in 2023 to keep Lakes Mead and Powell from falling to critically low levels, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner told a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Between 2 million and 4 million acre feet of water use must be cut for 2023 across the river basin to cope with continued declines in reservoir levels, said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton.

This comes as the West continues to struggle with ongoing conditions of “hotter temperatures, leading to early snowmelt and dry soils, all translated into low runoff and the lowest reservoir levels on record,” Touton said.

“The normal drier, warmer West is what we’re seeing today,” said Touton, testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in Washington, D.C.

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