Monday March 6, 2023

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Getting states to agree to use less water is hard. Doing so in a matter of months is near impossible.

The last time the Colorado River Basin agreed to a set of reductions to address drought conditions and dropping levels at Lake Mead was in 2019. Those reductions took five years to iron out and amounted to a fraction of what the federal government now says needs to be cut in order to keep the system from crashing.

Now, states are looking to cut far more water than the 2019 agreement yielded, and on a much shorter negotiation timeline.

After the seven states that rely on the Colorado River to provide water to roughly 40 million Americans missed two deadlines from the federal government to work out a consensus plan, there are two proposals from the basin states on the table that offer different paths for how to meet the target.

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