Lower Basin States Respond to Upper Basin States Decision To Suspend Water

by | Mar 6, 2023 | Featured Stories, News | 0 comments

The states of the Colorado River Lower Basin (Arizona, California, and Nevada) have responded to the Upper Basin states decision to suspend water releases from Flaming Gorge Reservoir. A KUNC report shares that the Lower Basin states want to leave the door open for additional releases if needed. “Just last year, we witnessed a precipitous drop in the runoff projection between February and May in the amount of approximately 1 million acre-feet,” shares their statement. “We must be able to adapt this year if the current runoff projections decline.” The Lower Basin states also emphasized their expectation that they be able to have a voice in these kinds of decisions. The background is that in April 2022, the Colorado River Authority of Utah announced the plan to release water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to protect Lake Powell. The action was part of the Drought Contingency Plan passed in Congress and signed into law by President Trump in 2019 to avoid dangerously low Lake Powell water levels. The plan authorized the release of 500,000 acre-feet from Flaming Gorge beginning around May 1st, 2022 with plans to run through April 30th of 2023. Last week’s vote would cut the original plan short.

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