Big Colorado River water cuts needed next year, top US official warns
The largest single batch of water-use cuts ever carried out on the Colorado River is needed in 2023 to keep Lakes Mead and Powell from falling to critically low levels, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner told a congressional hearing Tuesday. Between 2 million and 4 million acre-feet of water use must be cut for 2023 across the river basin to cope with continued declines in reservoir levels, said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton. This comes as the West continues to struggle with ongoing conditions of “hotter temperatures, leading to early snowmelt and dry soils, all translated into low runoff and the lowest reservoir levels on record,” Touton said.
- The Colorado Sun: Colorado River water use may have to be slashed by a quarter to avert crisis, federal official warns
- Axios: Drought-hit Colorado River water supplies near “moment of reckoning”
- USA Today: ‘The moment of reckoning is near’: Feds warn huge cuts needed to shore up Lake Mead, Colorado River
- Audubon: New Dire Colorado River Warnings from the Federal Government
- Jfleck at inkstain: Touton - On the Colorado River, we need to cut an additional 2 to 4 million acre feet of use. Now.
- Agri-Pulse: Reclamation weighs emergency measures to save key reservoirs