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[IN-DEPTH] Drought & Development: Contingency plan bites into Pinal County agriculture

Posted by   /  March 12, 2019  /  No Comments

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Photo by Jim Headley / InMaricopa

 

By Jim Headley | InMaricopa

In Arizona’s newly passed Drought Contingency Plan (DCP), farmers in Pinal County stand to lose two-thirds of the irrigation water they have been receiving from the Colorado River.

The DCP is an effort to keep the Colorado River’s major reservoirs from reaching catastrophically low levels. DCP goes into effect when levels in Lake Mead hit a specified low level of 1090 MSL (mean sea level). Lake Mead is currently at 1085 MSL, meaning water experts believe Arizona will likely lose quite a bit of their Colorado River allocations in 2020.

Brian Betcher, general manager of the Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District, testified twice before state legislative committees as they were forging and approving the DCP.

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