Arizona, California and Nebraska reach agreement for the conservation of the Colorado River

The lower basin states submitted to the federal administration a plan to preserve three million acres through 2026.

The governors of Arizona, California and Nevada have announced a new plan for the conservation of the Colorado River. The three states agreed to the preservation, through 2026, of three million acres in the lower watershed of the river. The proposal, which has the approval of the other states in the river basin, was forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation for evaluation.

In a joint statement, Arizona Gov, Katie Hobbs, remarks that "the Lower Basin Plan is the product of months of tireless work by our water managers to develop an agreement that stabilizes the Colorado River system through 2026." Hobbs wanted to thank the rest of the stakeholders for their spirit of consensus and emphasized that due "to historic investments in drought funding, we now have a path forward to build our reservoirs back up in the near-term. From here, our work must continue to take action and address the long-term issues of climate change and overallocation to ensure we have a sustainable Colorado River for all who rely upon it."

Newsom and Hobbs blame climate change

Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, the only state that did not sign the Biden Administration's proposal a few months ago, highlighted his state's work to optimize water consumption and called on all involved to fighting climate change together. "The entire Western United States is on the frontlines of climate change — we must work together to address this crisis and the weather extremes between drought and flood. California has stepped up to make significant cuts to water usage and now, this historic partnership between California and other Lower Basin states will help maintain critical water supply for millions of Americans as we work together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River System for decades to come," he said.

Finally, the only Republican politician in the agreement, Joe Lombardo, Governor of Nevada, highlighted the leadership of his citizens in saving water and considered that with the proposal sent to Washington a critical step has been taken. "Nevada has long been a leader in regional water conservation efforts, and we’re pleased to continue leading through this agreement with other Lower Basin States. Through this partnership, we look forward to equitably advancing our mutual goal of conserving our shared water resources. It’s never been more important to protect the Colorado River System, and this partnership is a critical next step in our efforts to sustain this essential water supply."