Drought Contingency Plan

High snowpack in the southern Rocky Mountains this winter will likely stave off a shortage declaration in the Colorado River watershed in 2020, relieving pressure on water managers attempting to navigate future scarcity.

New data from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation models show a lessened risk of a key Colorado River reservoir dropping far enough to trigger a first-ever shortage declaration. Snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin is at 138 percent of the long-term median, a level not seen in mid-March since 1997.

The last day of January was looking like a banner day for Arizona's water planning. State lawmakers had passed legislation authorizing Arizona to enter into an important deal. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bills almost immediately.

Jasmine Arenas / KAWC

By Howard Fischer - Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- House Speaker Rusty Bowers on Tuesday withdrew his legislation that would have repealed state laws on when farmers forfeit their water rights -- legislation that the Gila River Indian Community said would cause it to withdraw from the multi-state drought contingency plan.

KAWC Staff

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey brought a local version of his State of the State address to Yuma on Thursday. The Governor highlighted the involvement of Yuma Ag leaders and legislators in drafting the Arizona Drought Contingency plan and delivered a positive assessment of state finances.

Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

By Howard Fischer - Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Gov. Doug Ducey signed a drought contingency plan Thursday afternoon, just six hours ahead of the deadline set by a key federal official for the state to act or face having their Colorado River water supply determined by her.

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