From Inkstain (John Fleck):
Led by California, the states of the Lower Colorado River Basin had their lowest consumptive water use in 2017 since 1992, according to a near-final tally by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The final numbers won’t be out until mid-May, so could change slightly, but at this point they won’t change much. And they show that, despite the chaotic politics you’ve been hearing about lately, Lower Colorado River Basin water users are pushing their water use in the right direction.
In each case, the three Lower Basin states in different ways and on different time scales have been confronting the reality that they had come to depend on more water than the river could provide in the long run. Policy interventions that include municipal conservation, agricultural conservation, and ag-to-urban water transfers are shifting the water balance in the right direction…
At 6.782 million acre feet, that’s the lowest since 1992, before the Central Arizona Project was completed – the last big straw sucking water out of Lake Mead.
When the final numbers are completed, they’ll be published here.