National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Agreement on Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan
4/17/2019 12:00:00 AM

Relief, Response & Restrictions
Water Supply & Quality
New Mexico

Start Date: 10/9/2018 - End Date: 4/16/2019
Representatives of the seven Colorado River Basin states met at Hoover Dam for a formal signing ceremony. The region has endured nearly two decades of drought and diminishing reservoirs, but with the plan, hope to avoid Lakes Mead and Powell from becoming depleted. The Denver Post, May 20, 2019 President Trump signed the Colorado River Drought Contingency plan into law on April 16, 2019. Las Vegas Sun (Nev.), April 16, 2019 The Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan to manage the river was finished, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. Federal legislation was all that was needed to implement the plan. The Associated Press, March 19, 2019 The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation asserted that Arizona and California missed the deadline, meaning the Bureau will step in to manage water supplies. If the two states can complete their agreements by March 4, the Bureau will not intervene. In the meantime, the Bureau was asking governors of the seven states in the Colorado River basin for recommendations on cutting water use and preserving water storage in reservoirs. Santa Fe New Mexican (N.M.), Feb. 1, 2019 Seven Southwestern states reached agreements on management of the Colorado River Basin as the region endured drought. California also agreed to water cuts earlier than legally required. The Upper Basin states will try to keep the level of Lake Powell at or above 3,525 feet above sea level, and the Lower Basin states will attempt to conserve more water. If Lake Mead falls below a certain level, Arizona will curb its water use by up to 9 percent, California by as much as 8 percent and Nevada by 3 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation foresees the chances of a shortfall in Lake Mead at 57 percent by 2020. Casper Star-Tribune (Wyo.), Oct. 11, 2018