By Tom Buschatzke and Ted Cooke
Opinion: The Drought Contingency Plan is working, but it’s just the beginning. Here’s how we move forward.
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
We can say with confidence that DCP is already a success.
DCP is providing a safe harbor while we work on important issues leading up to 2026, when the existing guidelines for the operation of the Colorado River system expire.
We now have an opportunity to build on the successful Arizona process that led to the DCP signing. Arizona is Stronger Together. And that will serve us well as we work toward the next step – maintaining a stable, healthy Colorado River system as we face a hotter and drier future.
Lake Mead is 22 feet higher than expected
A year ago, many of us were immersed in the details of Arizona’s Drought Contingency Implementation Plan, which benefited from the cooperative spirit of its participants, including elected leaders and representatives from every sector of the state’s water-using community.
In 2020 and likely 2021, we will be operating under DCP’s Tier Zero, a reduction of 192,000 acre-feet to Arizona. The estimated impact of contributing this water is more than $40 million, but the investment is worth it to protect the Colorado River system.