The path to Colorado River collaboration is narrow, but we remain on it

Amid the Sturm und Drang of Arizona’s struggle to find a path to reduce its Colorado River water use in the face of a federal ultimatum, I lost sight of an important point. With last week’s legislative approval, Arizona has now agreed to a plan that could eventually reduce the Central Arizona Project’s flow of …

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What exactly is this federal Colorado River “deadline”?

There is a widespread misunderstanding about today’s Colorado River “Drought Contingency Plan” deadline. No, the federal government will not step in at midnight tonight and take over management of the Colorado River if the states of the Colorado River Basin have not approved the long-delayed, painfully negotiated DCP. That is not what Reclamation Commissioner Brenda …

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California water use – still down

California’s water use: down. While it’s true that urban water use is not as low as it was at the height of the latest drought in 2015, it is still much lower than in 2013, before Californians were asked to significantly limit their water use. This winter, some media stories highlighted unfavorable month-to-month comparisons—for example, water …

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The Colorado River-Sacramento Delta Connection

With an 85 percent allocation of northern California water from California’s State Water Project last year, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was able to cut back on its use of Colorado River water, leaving more than 300,000 acre feet in Lake Mead. That water has provided a sufficient buffer than Mead will end …

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New constraints on Imperial’s ability to throttle back Colorado River water use

I’ve been puzzling over the impact of Imperial Irrigation District’s legal struggle over its “Equitable Distribution Plan”, a regulatory framework for governing how much water individual farmers can use. This story from Daniel Rothberg is a big help: As a practical matter, the repeal of the Equitable Distribution Plan lessened IID’s control over its plans to …

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Palo Verde Irrigation District withdraws lawsuit against Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

In a bit of Colorado River detente, the Palo Verde Irrigation District has filed a motion in Riverside County Superior Court to withdraw a lawsuit it had filed against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the use of water on Met-owned land in the Palo Verde District:   View note The move does …

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“drought” – Philp on weather, water, and yesteryear’s language

Tom Philp had a great piece in Water Deeply last week about the language we use: Water policy becoming a prisoner of its own limited vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the weather. Here is a case that “drought” and “normal” belong in the dustbin of history, for their overuse can lead to the wrong conversation. …

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stormwater is not wasted water

When we talk about capturing “wasted” water for use – stormwater, sewage treatment plant effluent – it’s important to think about where that water is going now, before we start capturing it. Often, it’s into a river. So capturing it and putting it to use for some human purpose is depriving the river of that …

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When wastewater isn’t being “wasted”, Pasadena edition

Pasadena, California, wants to use treated effluent to water golf courses. This is a water policy no-brainer, right? Well…. “As part of preparations to commence deliveries of recycled water to Pasadena, the city of Glendale petitioned the State Water Resources Control Board to seek their approval for a reduction in the amount of treated wastewater …

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