Earlier this month, Camille Touton, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In that testimony, she acknowledged that the challenges we’re seeing today are unlike anything we’ve seen in our history, stating that in addition to the actions that are already underway, between 2-4 million acre-feet of additional conservation is needed in 2023 just to protect critical levels in the major reservoirs (Lake Powell and Lake Mead) that allow for water delivery, power generation and infrastructure stability.
Touton said that although it is within Reclamation’s authorities to act unilaterally to protect the system, she first wants to pursue a path of partnership and collaboration, and gave Colorado River Basin States parties until the August 24-month study to agree on a course of action.
You can read a statement about this announcement from CAP General Manager Ted Cooke here.
As a result of these deteriorating conditions on the Colorado River system, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board held a special meeting on Monday, June 27. CAP Assistant General Manager of Water Policy Patrick Dent made a presentation on the current hydrology and basin status.
Similar information was also shared at a June 23 CAP Water User’s Shortage Briefing. That presentation and video is posted on CAP’s website.
We will continue to share relevant information through Know Your Water News via these “River Updates” throughout the fall and beyond, as necessary.