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Bureau of Reclamation Declares Water Shortage for Lower Colorado River Basin

Luke Runyon/KUNC

For the first time ever, the Bureau of Reclamation has declared a water shortage for the lower Colorado River Basin resulting in cutbacks for some users in the southwest.  


Due to widespread drought, increased water demand, and climate change water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell are at historic lows.  


Those conditions are not likely to change anytime soon according to Camille Calimlim Touton, the Bureau’s deputy commissioner said.  


“Reclamation does not take these actions lightly or do so easily. We do so because it is necessary in protecting the system and implementing the agreements we have in place and as enacted by congress,” said Calimlim.


Starting in January of 2022 restrictions for water use in the Lower Colorado River basin will go into effect in Nevada and Arizona. The river serves 40 million people in the southwest.  

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