On August 8, Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema announced the creation of her new Water Advisory Council to “develop solutions in response to Arizona’s worsening drought conditions.” Members of the new council gathered at Hoover Dam for the announcement and to discuss the $4 billion in drought mitigation funding included in the Inflation Reduction Act recently signed by President Biden.
After Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton’s Senate testimony in June, the Colorado River Basin states had until Monday, August 15 to reach an agreement to save two to four million acre-feet of water in 2023, or Reclamation would take action to preserve the system. As WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal explained in an interview with The Center Square, “The 2-4 million acre-foot water curtailment is an unprecedented ask, not only in size but in speed at which the states were asked to respond.” The deadline has passed with no agreement reached.
Following Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) Commissioner Camille Touton’s June 14 presentation to the US Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Colorado River Basin states have been working to develop plans to conserve two to four million acre-feet of water in 2023 to maintain critical water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Touton called for states to have a 2023 plan ready by mid-August, promising that if the states do not act to conserve sufficient water in the Colorado River, Reclamation will act to protect the system.
The WRRC’s 20th Annual Conference, Arizona's Agricultural Outlook: Water, Climate, and Sustainability, took place on July 12-14 and presented many unique perspectives on current and future agricultural water use.
The Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have both recently released interactive online resources that may be of interest to water experts and members of the public alike.