Update: via Ian James from the Arizona Republic, here are the slides for today’s meeting.
Previously: With the announcement of a meeting this afternoon of Arizona’s Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan steering committee, it appears we have the general shape of an agreement to settle the thorny issue of how to reduce Arizona’s use of Colorado River water.
Not a lot of details yet, but it appears that
- Pinal County farmers will get 595,000 acre feet of mitigation water over the next three years
- Pinal County farmers will get federal help to drill a bunch of wells to advance their efforts to replace Colorado River water with groundwate
- The Gila River Indian Community is on board, and will provide some of the replacement water needed to keep Lake Mead whole
- The Colorado River Indian Tribes may be also providing water to help prop up Mead
- The cities seem to be on board
With those three key pieces – GRIC/CRIT, cities, and Pinal County farmers – we seem to have the necessary agreement for a deal. But I have been wrong about Arizona before.
Not sure if the meeting will be livestreamed, and I’m in Albuquerque with a day job, so I’d be ever so appreciative if folks either in the comments here or on the twitters (#ColoradoRiver or the far less poetic #CoRiver) would add what they know.