#ColoradoRiver: @CAPArizona signals support for lower basin #Drought Contingency Plan #COriver #aridification

Colorado River Basin. Graphic credit: Water Education Colorado

From ArizonaCentral.com (Ian James):

Board members of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District passed a motion saying they support “key provisions” of the plan, which they’re calling Arizona’s implementation plan for the proposed three-state Drought Contingency Plan.

There are still some details yet to be worked out.

In the motion, the board members said they recognize “the need for additional discussions to address remaining issues.”

But the vote appears to indicate that the main players in Arizona’s long and difficult negotiations are pretty much on the same page about what an agreement would look like. And with this vote behind them, Arizona water officials will now have the framework of a state plan in hand as they join other water managers from across the West in Las Vegas next week for the annual Colorado River Water Users Association conference, where federal officials have said they hope to wrap up a Drought Contingency Plan.

The plan still will have to be approved by Arizona’s Legislature in January once some additional details have been ironed out.

Those details include ensuring what the CAP board described in its motion as “certainty” for two groups of water users known as the ag pool and the developer pool. That phrase referred in part to securing funding to help Pinal County farmers pay for new wells and infrastructure to start pumping more groundwater to make up for cuts in Colorado River water.

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