#California is going to take 9% less #water from the #ColoradoRiver — National Public Radio #COriver #aridification

Southern California water agencies have agreed on a deal to cut back on the amount of water they use for the Colorado River, some of which is used to grow crops in the Imperial Valley. Ted Wood/The Water Desk

Click the link to read the article on the National Public Radio website (Juana Summers/Alex Hager). Here’s an excerpt:

SUMMERS: Thanks for being here. So this summer, the federal government told the states that share the Colorado River that they needed to write plans to take significantly less water due to the decade-long drought. California has now been the first to respond. How do they plan to meet this goal?

HAGER: Yeah, Southern California is proposing to cut back by about 9%. And they’re still sorting out the details of who exactly will give up how much water, but this is a deal that’s bringing together suppliers for farms and cities alike. So the four agencies involved kind of have the ability to spread out the impact of those cuts. And this announcement comes amid mounting pressure for them to use less. The federal government asked the states that share the river to conserve. And, you know, a lot of those states responded by pointing fingers at California, which uses by far the most water from the river. So now this is California’s response. They’re coming out with the first major water conservation deal since the feds asked for cuts.

SUMMERS: OK. But what are they asking for in return?

HAGER: The California group is asking for federal money to help with the Salton Sea. It’s this big, salty lake that gets filled with irrigation runoff from nearby farms. But when there’s less water heading to California, that lake dries up. And then all the salt and dust that’s left behind – it’s causing an ecological and health crisis for the area.

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. Credit: Brad Udall via Twitter

Click the link to read “More water restrictions likely as California pledges to cut use of Colorado River supply” on The Los Angeles Times website (Ian James). Here’s an excerpt:

With the Colorado River in crisis and reservoir levels continuing to decline, some California water agencies are planning to significantly reduce the amount they take from the river starting next year. As a result, officials with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California said they plan to endorse mandatory conservation measures to begin rationing water for cities and local agencies that supply 19 million people across six counties…Four water districts and the state’s Colorado River Board said in a letter to the federal government on Wednesday that they are proposing to reduce water use by up to 400,000 acre-feet per year. That would amount to about 9% of the state’s total water allotment from the river for the next four years, through 2026…

The All American Canal carries water from the Colorado River to farms in California’s Imperial Valley. The Imperial Irrigation District holds more rights to Colorado River water than any other user in the basin. Photo credit: Adam Dubrowa, FEMA/Wikipedia.

“California is stepping up and leading the way on addressing this situation with action and making significant reductions,” said J.B. Hamby, a board member of the Imperial Irrigation District…

Hamby said the reductions “are going to involve serious sacrifice within California, but it’s necessary in order to prevent the system from crashing.”

California water agencies have been under pressure to shoulder substantial water cutbacks. Federal officials in June called for the seven states that rely on the Colorado River to come up with plans to drastically reduce annual water diversions by 2 million to 4 million acre-feet. But negotiations among the states grew tense and acrimonious, and didn’t produce a deal.

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