The Basics Of The Colorado Water Agreement Of 2019
13 avril 2021
During discussions on last year`s agreement, Lake Mead turned to an initial statement from the federal government on a declaration of shortage. But this winter has left the rocky Mountains covered with heavy snow, unleashing a plethora of runoff that should avoid a shortage for another year. The Colorado River Compact is a 1922 agreement between seven U.S. states in the Colorado River Basin in the southwestern United States that regulates the allocation of water rights to river waters between parts of the Interstate Compact. The agreement, originally proposed by lawyer Delph Carpenter, was signed at a meeting at Bishop`s Lodge near Santa Fe, New Mexico, by representatives of the seven states that cross the Colorado River and its tributaries en route to Mexico. There are also concerns about Nevada`s growing population and the state`s water consumption. Nevada, with the smallest water distribution in the lower watershed, may in the near future find that the water provided by the Colorado River will not meet the state`s growing needs. In 2008, Pat Mulroy, executive director of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, said she did not support water redistribution. That`s because all states have experienced growth in the watershed, she says, it`s unlikely that Nevada`s allocation will increase, and it could even decrease.  Instead, Nevada, like California, may need to work on conservation methods and find alternative sources of water to support the state`s growing population. California authorities this week expressed an interest in finding new ways to deal with the effects of global warming. But Chris Harris, director of California`s Colorado River Board, told the Denver Post that his state was not willing to discuss a concrete deal that would require abandoning a « call » for more water.
And John Entsminger, director of the Southern Nevada Water Authority Manager and his state`s chief negotiator, asked how the agreement would help lower states. She was heading towards Lake Mead behind her, where water levels left a lighter « bathtub ring » on the rocky sides of the lake. Burman said the « real possibility of a river crisis » has led the region to join the drought agreement and that the Realignment Office is working with experts who have studied the latest data and climate models to assess future scenarios. Western water managers have come because Colorado and the other basin countries together consume about 4.5 million feet of acre per year, well below their allocation of 7.5 million hectares. The Colorado Water Conservation Council Rebecca Mitchell, just called by Gov. Jared Polis to represent the state in Western water negotiations, called the big deal « an interesting thought exercise » and said Colorado, while focusing for now on updating tank operating protocols with other states, finally, will check with any water it can legally trigger without a phone call. « The air quality problems at Imperial are significant, and Salton Lake is a piece of it, » Fleck said. « So we need to figure out how to protect vulnerable communities because we`re saving more water. » The General Assembly recently supported the development of demand management programs in SB 19-212. The bill provides $1.7 million from the general fund for the Department of Natural Resources for use by the Colorado Water Conservation Council. The Board of Directors will use this money for stakeholder public relations and technical analysis to develop a water demand management program.
After an ambitious century, this behind-the-scenes quarrel over climate risk and a possible big deal shows how rising temperatures and changing water levels are increasingly limiting human use of the Colorado River.