#Colorado tells the #ColoradoRiver Lower Basin states to cut #water use to meet federal demand to conserve — The #ColoradoSprings Gazette #COriver #aridification

The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in the Grand Canyon, shown here in a September 2020 aerial photo from Ecoflight, represents an area where the humpback chub has rebounded in the last decade. That progress is now threatened by declining water levels in Lake Powell, which could lead to non-native smallmouth bass becoming established in the canyon. CREDIT: JANE PARGITER/ECOFLIGHT

Click the link to read the article on The Colorado Springs Gazette website (Mary Shinn). Here’s an excerpt:

Colorado has no plans to make additional cuts to water use next year to meet the Bureau of Reclamation’s demand to conserve millions of acre-feet of water, a step needed to preserve power production in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Instead, Colorado officials insist that other states should do the cutting.

“I think that at this point, we stand ready to hear what the Lower Basin has in mind,” said Amy Ostdiek, a section chief with the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Ostdiek told The Gazette the Upper Basin states — Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah — dramatically reduced their water use in 2021 because of drought conditions. Specifically, they cut 1 million acre-feet in use in 2021 compared with 2020, bringing it down to 3.5 million acre-feet. But, at the same time, total water use in the Lower Basin has not been cut enough to preserve levels in the lakes, said Ostdiek, who is chief of the Interstate, Federal, and Water Information Section. She said water users in Colorado cut their consumption to meet the obligations of the 1922 river compact that governs use between the seven states and Mexico, who all share the river.

“The most impactful thing we can do is live within the means of the river,” she said.

Map of the Colorado River drainage basin, created using USGS data. By Shannon1 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

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