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Western states fail to meet another water cut deadline

Six of the seven states using Colorado River water wrote a letter with a proposed model
Posted at 7:22 PM, Jan 31, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Seven states, including Arizona, were given a deadline by the federal government to come up with a plan on how to cutback more water.

RELATED: California is lone holdout in Colorado River cuts proposal

Six of the seven states using Colorado River water including Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming submitted a letter and proposed a model to the Department of Interior.

Missing a signature from California, the states failed to meet Tuesday’s deadline.

Sharon Megdal is the Director of the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center and said everyone is considered a water stakeholder.

“We’re facing critical conditions on the Colorado River and this is not a new situation,” said Megdal.

An ongoing drought leads to more water wats, which Megdal says could mean more expensive.

“As the cutbacks go further, they can impact the deliveries to utilities like Tucson water, Metro Water District or Oro Valley-- and what that means is that the utilities may have had less water being delivered to them compared to what they expected,” said Megdal.

“We might think we live far from the Colorado River, but it's going to affect our daily lives in terms of our pocketbooks and in terms of our water use,” she added.

Jana Segal-Stormont doesn’t harvest rainwater to save money, but because she’s concerned about water usage in Arizona. She dedicates her life to living sustainably and spends time to educate other through her blog.

“The drought is just going to get worse,” said Segal-Stormont.

“If you want to have water in the future and have water for our kids and our grandkids and for the rivers, then we need to conserve water on our own property,” Segal-Stormont said.

This Tucsonan doesn’t use any of the city’s water for landscaping.

“We had a lot less rain than we used to have, there used to be monsoons every day in the summer when my kids were little and there’s just not anymore,” said Segal-Stormont.

The Bureau of Reclamation is expected to release a draft in March on a proposal of water cuts for the seven states.

While they consider the six states’ letter as part of the plan, water experts say you could play a key role in saving water.

The City of Tucson has an application for money towards water storage systems at your house.

Faith Abercrombie is a reporter for KGUN 9. Before coming to KGUN, Faith worked as a videographer for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation and as a reporter and producer on the youth suicide documentary, "Life is..." on Arizona PBS.
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