Colorado River cuts set to disrupt farming in American West

Colorado River cuts set to disrupt farming in American West

Colorado River cuts set to disrupt farming in American West
Aug 16, 2022 55 secs

— to shrink to dangerously low levels that could disrupt water delivery and hydropower production and cut the amount of water allocated to Arizona and Nevada, as well as Mexico.

Under that plan, the amount of water allocated to states depends on the water levels at Lake Mead.

Last year, the lake fell low enough for the federal government to declare a first-ever water shortage in the region, triggering mandatory cuts for Arizona and Nevada as well as Mexico in 2022.

Officials expect hydrologists will project the lake to fall further, triggering additional cuts to Nevada, Arizona and Mexico next year.

Water from the lake runs through Glen Canyon Dam, which produces enough electricity to power between 1 million and 1.5 million homes each year.

After water levels at Lake Powell reached levels low enough to threaten hydropower production, federal officials said they would hold back an additional 480,000 acre-feet (more than 156 billion gallons or 592 million cubic meters) of water to ensure the dam could still produce energy.

Under Tuesday’s reductions, Arizona is expected to lose slightly more water than it did this year, when 18% of its supply was cut.

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