By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – A U.S. Congressman has a request for California Gov. Gavin Newsom: reduce the state’s use of water from the Colorado River.
U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, a Phoenix Democrat, penned a letter to Gov. Newsom telling him that because the Colorado River system faces becoming a deadpool, it needs every basin state to take action to prevent an economic catastrophe.
The letter tells Gov. Newsom that the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner said earlier this summer the states must conserve an additional two million to four million acre-feet of water each year to protect “critical levels” in Lake Mead and Powell. Thus far, California has not taken action and rejected a proposal from Arizona and Nevada that would have conserved two million acre-feet shared between the basin states and Mexico, according to the letter.
“Although California receives by far the largest allocation of any basin state, it is doing the exact opposite of what is required of all of us during this climate crisis – and its actions endanger the river and the 40 million people whose lives and livelihood depend on it,” Rep. Stanton wrote on Tuesday. “For example, the state’s Colorado River hydrologic region water use hasn’t gone down–but actually increased nearly 41 percent in April 2022 compared to April 2020. California is also poised to not only use its entire water allocation in 2022 but withdraw additional water from Lake Mead above its allocation. In a time of historic drought, this is reckless and unacceptable.”
Rep. Stanton concludes his letter by saying that Arizona and Nevada need help in this endeavor and that they can’t do it alone.