Federal/State Colorado River Agreement will Address Water Shortages through 2026

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and seven states (California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico) have agreed on an approach to address historically low water levels in the Colorado River Basin from severe drought conditions and climate change. The river basin provides drinking water to 40 million people, generates power for millions of homes and businesses, and irrigates approximately 5.5 million acres of farmland. The agreement includes commitments by three states in the lower river basin to temporarily use less water through 2026 and a commitment by the federal government to pay approximately $1.2 billion in Inflation Reduction Act funding to irrigation districts, cities, and tribes to reduce water usage. The Biden Administration gave states until May 30 to commit to water usage reductions and negotiated with them to reach an agreement. The states have also agreed to reduce additional water usage necessary to sustain adequate water levels in the river into the future. For more information, read the DOI press release.