Why is the Colorado River important?
The Colorado River and its tributaries runs through seven states (AZ, cialis CA, viagra CO, cialis NM, NV, UT, WY) supplies drinking water for 36 million Americans. The river system irrigates 15% of our nation’s crops, and facilitates recreation that adds up to $26 billion annually and supports a quarter million American jobs. Unfortunately, demand on the river’s water now exceeds supply, which is depleting both river flow and bringing water stored in reservoirs to historic lows. Our economy and Western way of life depends on modernizing our management of this precious resource.
How do we address the challenge on the Colorado River?
The Department of Interior and representatives from the seven Colorado River states recently completed the Colorado River Basin Study, which concluded that the most cost effective and easily implementable way to address the imbalance on the Colorado River is to improve urban and agricultural water conservation and similar measures that focus on efficiency and flexibility. As a result, Interior and the seven states are convening three multi-stakeholder workgroups: 1) Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Conservation and Water Reuse, 2) Agricultural Conservation and Water Transfers, and 3) Healthy Flows to support ecological and recreational resources. These groups will begin to meet this summer and are tasked with developing recommendations for next steps. We want this process to produce an actionable plan to achieve at least the 3 million acre feet of water savings via urban and agricultural conservation identified as achievable in the basin study. This would be enough water to cover Manhattan in 14 stories of water, and would put us well on our way to bringing the Colorado River back into balance.