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Arizona Edition: Yuma Growers Know Water Cuts are Coming

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Arizona Edition

A mid-August deadline for western states to submit plans to cut up to 4 million acre feet of water from their Colorado River allocations came and went in mid-August.

No plan was submitted, and the expectation was the federal government would step in and mandate cuts that would dramatically impact Arizona in particular, prop up reservoir levels at Lakes Mead and Powell, and possibly reshape Colorado River water distribution in the west.

That didn’t happen. Instead, the Department of the Interior announcement Tuesday reiterated already planned cuts, announced a two-year study period, and, depending on who you ask, kicked the can down the road yet again on dealing with water in the west.

Today we’ll hear from Paul Brierley of the University of Arizona Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture– he'll talk about what growers here in Yuma expected from federal action, and what it means for the coming crop year.

And Luke Runyon is a regular contributor to our reporting on water in the west, he is managing editor and reporter at KUNC in Greeley, Colorado. We’ll talk to him about the implications of the actions the federal government did take this week, and ask about what comes next as projections continue to show water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell are under threat.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.
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