Breakthrough Proposal Would Aid Drought-Stricken Colorado River as 3 Western States Offer Cuts
By SUMAN NAISHADHAM and KEN RITTER Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Arizona, California and Nevada on Monday proposed a deal to significantly cut their water use from the drought-stricken Colorado River over the next three years.
The $1.2 billion proposal is a potential breakthrough in a stalemate over how to deal with a rising problem that pitted Western states against one another.
The plan would conserve an additional 3 million acre-feet of water from the 1,450-mile river that provides water to 40 million people in seven U.S. states, parts of Mexico and more than two dozen Native American tribes.
Cities, irrigation districts and Native American tribes in the three states will receive federal funding in exchange for temporarily using less water.
The plan doesn’t change how much water the Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah or Wyoming will receive.
The Green River in Wyoming contributes to the Colorado River system.
It starts in the Wind River Range and flows through Sublette and Sweetwater counties where it is dammed to form the Fontenelle Reservoir and then to the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. From there, the river enters eastern Utah, and eventually joins the Colorado River south of Moab, Utah.