‘Friendly’ proposal by CAP board could derail Arizona drought talks

Lake Mead. / Photo by Richard Martin / Flickr

 

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

The board of the Central Arizona Project is threatening Arizona’s hard-won progress in internal drought talks, two leaders in those negotiations warned Monday.

Both State Senator Lisa Otondo, whose District 4 covers chunks of Yuma, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties, and Tom Buschatzke, the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, wrote letters staunchly opposing an attempt by the board last week to amend a breakthrough drought planning proposal.

Last Thursday, after weeks of deadlock, Arizona’s Drought Contingency Plan Steering Committee met publicly for the first time in six weeks. Members discussed a newly coalesced proposal that laid out how Colorado River water users would share the pain of at least 512,000 acre-feet of water cuts per year in the event of a shortage on the river. A shortage has a nearly 60 percent chance of happening in the year 2020, according to federal projections.

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