Feds Say Arizona Must Once Again Cut Back On Water Usage

By Ginny Reese

August 17, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

The federal Bureau of Reclamation has announced that Arizona must cut back on its use of the Colorado River water supply.

12 News reported that the state's river water usage will reportedly be reduced by 592,000 acre-feet. To put that into perspective, one acre-foot of water would supply about three Phoenix households with water for an entire year.

The bureau said in a press release, "Over the last two decades, Department leaders have engaged with Colorado River Basin partners on various drought response operations. However, given that water levels continue to decline, additional action is needed to protect the system."

Some Arizona officials do not agree with the reduction. Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project officials said in a press release, "It is unacceptable for Arizona to continue to carry a disproportionate burden of reductions for the benefit of others who have not contributed."

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly agrees, saying that Arizona has "put more we water on the table than any other state, while other parties have offered a fraction of the same amount."

So who will be most impacted among Arizona residents?

Farmers will take the biggest hit. Water officials say that they expect two-thirds of the river water that goes toward state farming to be cut.

CAP General Manager Ted Cooke said, "Agriculture will be impacted. There will still be farming, but it will be less and some of them will go back to groundwater."

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