#AZ, #CA, and #NV to sign voluntary cutbacks of #ColoradoRiver #water — The Associated Press #crwua2021 #COriver #aridification

Glen Canyon Dam as seen from an overlook on the south side, downstream of the dam in Page, Arizona. (Public domain.)

From The Associated Press (Brittany Peterson):

To help stave off another round of mandatory cutbacks, water leaders for Arizona, Nevada and California are preparing to sign an agreement that would voluntarily reduce Colorado River water to the lower basin states by 500,000 acre-feet — enough to supply about 750,000 households for a year — for both 2022 and 2023.

The agreement, known as the “500+ Plan”, would require millions of dollars from each state over two years — $60 million from Arizona, $20 million from Nevada and $20 million from California with federal matching dollars — to fund payments for water use reduction and efficiency projects that result in supply savings throughout the lower basin.

The signing is expected to take place Wednesday at the Colorado River Water Users Association annual meeting in Las Vegas, amid urgency to negotiate new rules for managing the depleted river beyond 2026 when the 2007 interim guidelines expire.

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