By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services
The leaders of Colorado River basin states are asking Congress to approve the newly adopted drought contingency plan that they admit is not a long-term solution to a dryer future and less water in the river.
Officials of the seven states on Tuesday signed the request for what Brenda Burman, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation called a historic deal designed to reduce the demand for water from the river.
The deal, which now needs congressional approval, most immediately decides who shares in cuts in the amount of water that will become necessary when Lake Mead drops below a certain level. For Arizona the state’s allocation will drop by about 18 percent, to 2.3 million acre feet.