Pinal farmers concerned about water reductions under drought plan

A “bathtub ring” of calcium deposits shows how nearly two decades of drought have lowered water levels in Lake Mead, a major Colorado River reservoir. / Photo by Alexis Kuhbander. / Cronkite News.

 

By Jake Kincaid | Arizona City Independent

In order to keep Lake Mead, and the Colorado River, from falling into critical shortages, key water agencies in Arizona are proposing reductions in water priority pools, with Pinal County farmers taking the brunt of reductions if mitigation plans are not put in place as the drought contingency plan moves through the state Legislature.

Top officials in the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project shelved disagreements from the last legislative cycle and presented a united front along with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on the need for reductions of Colorado River water.

Proposed reductions have the entire agriculture pool of Central Arizona Project surface water being slashed if Lake Mead goes into a Tier 1 shortage — below 1,075 feet elevation. This year analysts set Lake Mead at just 1,083 feet.

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