FEDS: #Drought-stricken #Arizona, #Nevada to get less from #ColoradoRiver — The #Aurora Sentinel #COriver #aridification

Brad Udall: Here’s the latest version of my 4-Panel plot thru Water Year (Oct-Sep) of 2021 of the Colorado River big reservoirs, natural flows, precipitation, and temperature. Data (PRISM) goes back or 1906 (or 1935 for reservoirs.) This updates previous work with @GreatLakesPeck.

Click the link to read the article from the Associated Press via tje Aurora Sentinel website (Suman Naishadham and Sam Metz). Here’s an excerpt:

For the second year in a row, Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River as the West endures an extreme drought, federal officials announced Tuesday…That’s not all. In addition to those already-agreed-to cuts, the Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday that states had missed a deadline to propose at least 15% more cuts needed to keep water levels at the river’s storage reservoirs from dropping even more. For example, officials have predicted that water levels at Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, will plummet further. The lake is currently less than a quarter full.

“The states collectively have not identified and adopted specific actions of sufficient magnitude that would stabilize the system,” Touton said.

After putting last year’s burden on the agricultural industry, Arizona officials will have to decide whether to spread additional pain to growing cities that rely on the river. The cuts are not expected to have a tangible effect on Nevada, which has already implemented the region’s most aggressive conservation policies, including grass bans and rebate programs…

Under Tuesday’s reductions, Arizona will lose slightly more water than it did this year, when 18% of its supply was cut. In 2023, it will lose an additional 3%, an aggregate 21% reduction from its initial allocation. Mexico will lose 7% of the 1.5 million acre-feet it receives each year from the river. Last year, it lost about 5%. The water is a lifeline for northern desert cities including Tijuana and a large farm industry in the Mexicali Valley, just south of the border from California’s Imperial Valley. Nevada also will lose water — about 8% of its supply — but most residents will not feel the effects because the state recycles the majority of its water used indoors and doesn’t use its full allocation. Last year, the state lost 7%.

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