Time to trim back water allocations for Colorado River states

Kudos to Henry Brean for his excellent water coverage for more than a decade. Last week, he mentioned the Colorado River basin “is in the midst of the driest 19-year period on record and one of the worst drought cycles of the past 1,200 years.”

Lake Mead is now 60 percent empty. One easy way to rectify this situation is for the president to issue an executive order reducing water to all seven Colorado River states by 5 percent. Such action would help river water quality, wildlife, the delta, river marinas, power production and relations with Mexico. By sending an equal water conservation message to the states, it would reduce certain future litigation. It would also further reduce the need for Nevada to fund a 300-mile water pipeline costing $15 billion or roughly $5,000 for everyone in the state.

George W. Bush and Barack Obama had many years to issue such an order. If either had pursued such a policy around a decade ago, Lake Mead might be only 10-20 percent empty today. Perhaps Nevada politicians and others can urge Donald Trump to pursue such a policy.

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