By Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star
Arizona, California and Nevada negotiators are moving toward a major agreement triggering cuts in Colorado River water deliveries to Southern and Central Arizona to avert much more severe cuts in the future.
As state water officials now envision the agreement, it would also ultimately require California to cut its use of river water. That’s despite a 48-year-old law that says the Central Arizona Project must relinquish all its supply during shortages before California loses any.
Terms of an agreement are still being negotiated, but water officials say these cuts are made necessary by a continued drop in the level of Lake Mead over 16 years. Lake Mead stores the river water that serves cities and farms in the three states, including drinking water for the Tucson and Phoenix areas.
Key details of a potential agreement and its effects: