Gila River Indian Community balks at Arizona’s latest scheme for Colorado River cutback

A new letter from Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Lewis to Arizona’s two top Colorado River negotiators complains that the latest version of the state’s plan to reduce its use of Lake Mead water would make things worse, in way that actual gives some Central Arizona farmers more water than they would get under the current Colorado River operating rules.

As a result, GRIC negotiators have been instructed to reject the latest proposal.


The latest incarnation of the Arizona Plan, Lewis charges, violates “the rules of holes”.

This is another big setback to hopes to wrap up a Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan soon.

(View the full text of the letter here.)


  1. The “rule of holes”–when you’re in a hole, stop digging–makes perfect sense, but that’s not what DCP is about. In fact, it’s the opposite.

    DCP expressly allows lower basin water users to withdraw ICS from their accounts when Lake Mead is in shortage (below 1075), something that was expressly forbidden under the 2007 Guidelines. California has made it clear that that’s the only reason they are willing to go along with DCP, because when it comes time for California to make a contribution they can continue to take 4.4 maf (or more) simply by using ICS. And if they do use ICS to make their DCP “contribution” then they get to take that ICS out again later as “DCP ICS.”

  2. Pingback: Arizona's efforts to cope with reduced Colorado River supplies, moving in reverse - jfleck at inkstain

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