Colorado River Water Users AvoidMandatory Use Cuts – For Now

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In a last minute deal reached before the May 30 deadline, federal officials have agreed to pay westerners to use less water from the Colorado River. This has paused the impending mandatory cuts – for now.

Department of Interior officials indicate that the agreement should protect the Colorado River from reaching “deadpool” – when the reservoir levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead are so low that the water can no longer flow downstream (not to mention, generate hydropower) through 2026, and additional negotiations will need to continue in the immediate future.

Thirty Tribal nations and seven states depend on the Colorado River for life-giving water and electricity. “Failure is not an option,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau.

The Inflation Reduction Act has several provisions to work toward climate resiliency and Colorado River sustainability, totaling $4.6 billion. Investments announced by the Department of the Interior include:

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