Colorado River water cut in store for Mexico, too


NASA reported that as of July 18, the water level of Lake Mead, one of the Colorado River Basin’s two key reservoirs, stood at 27% of capacity. That was its lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was in the process of being filled for the first time. A strong monsoon season has raised the water level somewhat since. (Photo by Michael Vi, Shutterstock)

Drought-induced reductions in 2023 Colorado River water deliveries, announced in August by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), will affect not only the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona, but also Mexico. Under a 1944 water treaty with the United States, Mexico is entitled to 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually, though an exception is made for instances of “extraordinary drought.” The plan announced in August calls for the country’s apportionment to be trimmed by 104,000 acre-feet, or 7%. Arizona’s deliveries for next year would fall by 592,000 acre-feet, or 21% of its annual apportionment, and Nevada’s by 25,000 acre-feet, or 8%. While acknowledging drought-response action by Colorado River Basin stakeholders in the United States and Mexico over the past two decades, the DOI said August’s announced cutbacks were needed due to “prolonged drought and low runoff conditions accelerated by climate... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?