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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

Water Woes XI More Cuts

New 500,000 AFY Colorado River Water Cut

First it was the Interim Shortage Guidelines (2007), then the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) (2019) and now the 500+ Plan. The Lower Basin States (CA, AZ & NV) and the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) are negotiating yet another Colorado River water cut whereby the water users in the Lower Basin will cut deliveries to allow 500,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) of water to remain in Lake Mead in 2022 and maybe future years to prevent Lake Mead from dropping to critically low levels.

AZ will cut 223,000 AFY (40%) of the total. Of that amount, 40,000 AFY will be cut by users along the Colorado River and 193,000 AFY will be cut by the Central Arizona Project (CAP). Most of the CAP cuts will come from Arizona tribes with the remaining coming from municipal, industrial or agricultural users. These cuts will come at a huge cost and impact AZ taxes and water rates.

My good friend, Ian James, former reporter for the Desert Sun (Palm Springs) and Arizona Republic (Phoenix) is now a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Click on the button below to see his article on The 500+ program:

As always, Tony Davis, reporter for the Arizona Daily Start, has written two excellent articles about the The 500+ Plan and the cost to Arizona tax payers and rate payers. Click on the button below to read these articles:


Current Colorado River Conditions

  • Lake Powell-29% full

  • Lake Mead-34% full (elevation 1,065.17)


La Niña Conditions

Tucson weather conditions in November are signaling a La Niña winter:

  • 2nd warmest on record

  • 25th driest on record

  • 24 days of daily high temperature above 80 degrees

  • Average daily temperature above normal every day

The aridification of the West continues!


Oro Valley Podcast-November 24

I participated in the November 24 Oro Valley Podcast with Jim Horn and reported on the drought and other water issues. Click on the button below to listen:


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