No firm new deadline for #ColoradoRiver basin states’ #conservation plans — KUNC #COriver #aridification

This page features images and footage shot with a GoPro camera during a pilot-only Lighthawk flight above Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, along the Colorado River near Las Vegas, Nevada July 29, 2020. Photo credit: The Water Desk

Click the link to read the article on the KUNC website (Luke Runyon). Here’s an excerpt:

The seven states that rely on the river blew past an August 16 deadline without a plan to conserve 2 to 4 million acre-feet of water. They were given that task by officials with the Bureau of Reclamation and from within the Interior Department. The agency’s models show that amount is what is necessary to keep the river’s biggest reservoirs — lakes Mead and Powell — from reaching critical levels.

“Our common deadline is as soon as possible,” said Tanya Trujillo, the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for water and science, on Thursday. “While we’re working on those shorter term efforts, we’re also at the same time trying to continue working on those longer term strategies.”

Federal officials announced they would be implementing a series of water cutbacks for Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico in 2023. Those cuts were previously agreed to under the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan and the 2007 Interim Guidelines.

In a statement, the Bureau of Reclamation said it would be considering “other operational actions to establish flexibility” in the river’s Upper Basin and Lower Basin operations at facilities the agency owns and operates, but didn’t elaborate further on what those actions might be.

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