The Show on KJZZ

Bureau of Reclamation Says New Drought Contingency Plan Takes Effect Immediately

By Steve Goldstein, Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 12:53pm
Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019 - 10:04am

Audio icon Download mp3 (6.44 MB)
Supported by Intel

Lake Mead
National Park Service
Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada border.

Water leaders from seven western states met at the Hoover Dam Monday to sign the Drought Contingency Plan in response to ongoing drought and less water from the Colorado River, a deal six years in the making.

The plan would keep more water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the river’s biggest reservoirs. States will also have more flexibility about how they can conserve water in Lake Mead.

Now the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has said the agreement goes into effect immediately, despite a lawsuit from California’s Imperial Irrigation District, the largest user of the river water.

In August, the bureau will determine whether there will be a water shortage next year.

Luke Runyon, a reporter with KUNC, joined The Show to discuss the plan which he calls a short-term fix. 

More Stories From KJZZ

Sustainability The Show