Western Farmers to be Impacted by Emergency Water Usage Cuts


Seven western states that rely on Colorado River water were told by government officials to develop a plan to dramatically reduce water usage by as much as four million acre-feet. The L.A. Times says those negotiations didn’t result in an agreement, so the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced new emergency water cuts for states like Arizona and Nevada and in New Mexico as the nation’s two biggest reservoirs are at historically low levels. “In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River System and a future of uncertainty and conflict, water use in the basin must get reduced,” says Tanya Trujillo, assistant secretary for water and science with the Interior Department. Under the Tier 2 Shortage Declaration, Arizona’s yearly water allotment is reduced by 21 percent, Nevada’s by eight percent, and New Mexico’s by seven percent. “Every sector state has a responsibility to ensure water gets used with maximum efficiency,” Trujillo adds.