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Connor: Find a Fix or We Will
At the 70th Annual Conference of the Colorado River Water Users Association (CRWUA), Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor implied that if the lower basin states of Arizona, California, and Nevada can’t find a fix for their Colorado River’s problems, the interior secretary will find it for them. In an Arizona Daily Star article, Connor referenced the need to prevent Lake Mead from falling to dangerously low levels. Should this be the case there would be huge cutbacks in water deliveries to the agricultural sector, cities, and Indian tribes.
According to the Star, the lake has dropped more than 120 feet since 2000. It’s expected to close 2015 at 1,082 feet elevation. The first shortage in the river would be declared at 1,075 feet and Connor indicated that the risk is now up to 30 percent that Lake Mead will drop to potentially dangerous levels in five years. The article also indicated that by next year’s CRWUA conference, Connor hopes the states will have reached agreement and that Interior Secretary Jewell will come to celebrate, either that or contingency plans will need to be implemented.