It’s been going on since 1922, seven western states staking their claims on Colorado River Water. For years, a sometimes divisive battle has raged as Colorado, Utah, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Nevada and New Mexico all said they weren’t getting their share of the precious liquid.
It came to an end in Las Vegas, when representatives of the seven states inked their signatures to a 20 year water-use agreement that now supersedes the 1922 pact.
The plan resolves several legal issues among water agencies and formalized rules fostering cooperation during drought conditions now ongoing in the region. The states are promising consultation and negotiation before litigation on Colorado River water issues. What a concept.
Three lower-basin states, Arizona, California and Nevada will use the Lake Mead reservoir behind Hoover Dam to store water they won’t use or need right now. Thirty million people depend on water in that region, especially in Southern California, where 26 cities and water districts serve about 18 million customers.
During drought conditions, the agreements specify how agencies will handle reductions in supply and set new rules that allow the Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs to rise and fall in tandem. When water is plentiful, conservation measures will be put in place.
The signings took place at Caesars Palace, during a meeting of the Colorado River Water Users Association.
Source: Arizona Daily Star