Commission signs #ColoradoRiver binational water scarcity contingency plan report #COriver #aridification

Here’s the release from the International Boundary and Water Commission United States and Mexico United States Section (Lori Kuczmanski):

On July 11 in San Diego, California, the International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico, signed a report with the implementing details of the Colorado River Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan. The agreement describes the actions the United States and Mexico will take to help protect the elevation of Lake Mead, an important Colorado River reservoir for both countries. In September 2017, the two countries agreed to the general terms of the Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan when the Commission signed Minute No. 323, “Extension of Cooperative Measures and Adoption of a Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan in the Colorado River Basin.” The latest report provides additional detail to ensure parity in how the plan will be implemented in both nations. The terms are based on the U.S. Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan.

The “Joint Report of the Principal Engineers with the Implementing Details of the Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan in the Colorado River Basin,” signed by U.S. Principal Engineer Daniel Avila and Mexican Principal Engineer Luis Antonio Rascon Mendoza, was immediately approved by the Commissioners.

“With this agreement, the Commission is once again taking important action to further U.S.-Mexico cooperation to protect our nations’ shared water resources for years to come,” said U.S. Commissioner Jayne Harkins.

In accordance with Minute 323 and the Joint Report, the United States and Mexico will conserve water during drought conditions with the understanding they could get the water back when reservoirs recover. The volumes saved under the Binational Water Scarcity Contingency Plan are in addition to reductions that would take effect in both countries when Lake Mead is projected to drop to elevation 1075 feet or below, as described in Minute 323.

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