America is on the verge of experiencing WATER WARS as decreasing Lake Mead & Lake Powell supply prompt federal action and legal disputes between the western states.
Lake Mead as well as Lake Powell have reached record-low levels and are rapidly drying out. Their water levels are currently at about 25%. The Colorado River nourishes these lakes, which provide the majority of the water for 7 Western states.
The Colorado River is under the responsibility of the federal government. The seven western states are under pressure from federal authorities with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Reclamation to maintain the residual water level and stop the reservoirs from turning into dead pools.
The failure of the seven states to come to an agreement and implement the necessary cuts would likely result in new agreements as well as forthcoming judicial disputes.
Western states are at a historical crossroads because they can’t agree on drastic water cuts.
By 2023, the seven impacted states must present a plan for cutting water use by billions of gallons. The talks aren’t looking good so far. California, Arizona, and Nevada, all counties in the Lower Valley of the Colorado River, are working hard to develop a plan that is equitable for everyone.
Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Utah, all counties in the Upper Basin, are all at odds over resource availability and accuse the Lower Basin states of failing to do their fair share.
A difficult conversation regarding water restrictions that would impact millions of individuals in various living situations is being had by the heads of the urban and agricultural public utilities.
Which districts are given priority?
Which water supply will be the first to be limited?
Who could pay the increased costs?
Will there be enough water in the agricultural areas to keep the crops alive?
Will city dwellers have access to bathrooms?
“Many diverse interests are at odds with one another. The Great Basin Water Program’s executive director, Kyle Roerink, stated that there are many obstacles to be overcome as well as a great deal of enmity. He continued, “It’s going to be a mess. There are some state distinctions that, in my opinion, cannot be reconciled, so I don’t see how we will ever move over them.
To prevent a national emergency, the federal government proposes a 30% reduction in current water usage.
The federal government demanded urgent action to reduce existing usage of water by 15 to 30 percent during a congressional committee on June 14, 2022. By 2023, the Department of Irrigation will utilize 2 to 4 million fewer cubic feet of water, according to Commissioner Calimlim Touton. If a deal is not reached within the next sixty days, she issued a warning to the state that the federal govt will “act unilaterally to defend the system.” Legal actions, court cases, and federal intervention are all potential outcomes. The federal government will have to practically join forces with the army to protect the priceless Lake Mead as well as Lake Powell, cutting off supplies to millions of people if the governments do not devise a strategy to reduce water usage and legal actions are not implemented. Since the congressional inquiry 60 days ago, the states have not yet finalized their cuts.
Because they historically utilize more water, states in the Upper Basin have blamed the states in the Lower Basin. The majority of the water from the Colorado River is under the management of the Central Irrigation District, which provides water to farmers in the Central Valley of Calif.
All Lower Basin states, particularly those in California, are expected to make the following cuts, according to the jurisdictions in the Upper Basin. According to Charles Cullom, executive director of the Northern Colorado River Board, the four states inside the Upper Basin have “limited” options and are unable to make more cuts without endangering their economies and way of life. According to him, the upper states “already have serious shortages under the circumstances.”
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