NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico and five other states that rely on water from the Colorado River have reached an agreement on how to cut their water usage. But California says they will form their own plan.
New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming sent an outline of their plans to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The bureau had asked for these proposals back in August but extended them to today.
More than 40 million people across seven states and into Mexico rely on the river for their water, which has been severely stressed by drought, demand, and overuse. “The Colorado River relies mainly on snowpack from the Rocky Mountains that feeds into the river as it melts during the spring and summer,” says Dr. Greg Postel from the Weather Channel. “But climate change is making the west hotter and for every degree increase in temperature that we see, that corresponds to about a %5 reduction in the river flow. So over the last century, we’ve seen roughly a 20% reduction overall.”
California did not sign the agreement and said it will release its own proposal.