States strike deal with Biden administration on Colorado River water

(NBC News)

The Biden Administration announced it has reached an agreement with states reliant on the Colorado River to reduce their water usage temporarily in exchange for at least $1 billion in federal funding.

Under this agreement, California, Arizona, and Nevada will voluntarily conserve 3 million acre-feet of water until 2026, about 13% of those states’ total allocation from the river.

The Biden Administration will compensate cities, water districts, Native American Tribes, and farm operators for 2.3 million acre-feet of savings using funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Colorado River supplies water to more than 40 million people and roughly 5.5 million acres of farmland in seven U.S. States.

A combination of prolonged drought, dwindling reservoir levels, and increased demand have strained the river.

The river’s major reservoirs, including Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have experienced dramatic declines in water levels.

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