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Maura Bennett Colorado Water Authorization Act
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: April 10, 2019

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The seven Colorado River Basin states which agreed on a Water Drought Contingency Plan are asking Congress to authorize it.

Senator Martha McSally and Congressman Raúl Grijalva, both from Arizona, introduced legislation known as the ‘‘Colorado River 5 Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act.’’ It would direct the Secretary of the Interior to execute and carry out the states’ agreement.

James Eklund, Colorado Governor Polis’ representative told the House Natural Resources Committee, the DCP is designed to protect Lakes Mead and Powell from reaching certain critical water elevations that would trigger severe water supply reductions and hydropower impacts, including the risk of reaching crises levels where operational control of the Colorado River System is lost.

“Failure is not an option. Were the Colorado River to fail our efforts to preserve and protect landscapes, critical species, water quality and other environmental resources that each of the Colorado River Basin states and the country depend on and value would be significantly compromised.”

The new legislation is co sponsored by senators from all 7 states but there’s a sticking point that could cause the legislation to fail. California’s Imperial Irrigation District, one of the biggest irrigation districts in the country and the river’s largest single user says it doesn’t support the plan because it fails to fix the state’s Salton Sea a large lake which has been drying up and threatening communities with toxic dust.

The seven Colorado River states have set a deadline of April 22 for Congress to pass legislation

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