Environmental groups to submit proposals for Colorado River’s future

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LAKE MEAD (KTNV) — Nevada and other states are proposing a new method to determine how to conserve the Colorado River and our water supply.

People who visit Lake Mead know something has to change to keep more water in Southern Nevada.

“Just save money,” said visitor Tom McWilliams. “I think it’s best not to use too much water and leave some water in.”

That’s a big question. How can you save as much money as possible?

Federal officials believe Lake Mead and our nation’s water supply are in good hands for now. But they need a plan beyond 2026 and some ideas have been sent to them, but they are different.

There are two new proposals for how to save 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water by reducing allocations. One person is from a downstream state like Nevada, Arizona, and California. The other is from upstream states such as Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

John Entzminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority weighed in after the proposal was introduced this week.

“We share pain and they transfer all their pain to us,” he told me. “The two countries are fundamentally at odds, and from what I’ve heard in the last few days, negotiations between the upstream and downstream states unfortunately seem to have broken down in recent months. That was clear.”

John Berggren is regional policy manager for Western Resource Advocates, an organization that works to protect and preserve the West’s environment.

“We will consider how each proposal impacts the environmental considerations that we care about,” Berggren said.

He also said he plans to submit a plan focused on how to protect the river environment and stabilize the system as a whole.

“We also plan to partner with other environmental NGOs who will submit their own ideas,” Berggren said.

The federal government will soon consider all proposals and is expected to publish a draft at the end of the year.

Once these drafts are published, you will also have the opportunity to review and consider them.

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