Environmental Politics, Think
Environew: More Fighting Over the Colorado River
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that this year, water from the Colorado River flowing into Lake Powell will be about 46% of average.
Management of Colorado River water is governed by the 1922 Colorado River Compact which vastly overestimated the total amount of water in the system. Ever since, users of river water can only get their share by taking water away from other water users. In April, the Upper Colorado River Commission (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) accused Arizona of manipulating the level of Lake Mead in order to get more water. Under existing rules if Lake Mead drops too low, it will be refilled from Lake Powell. The Central Arizona Project has been keeping Lake Mead levels in a sweet spot in order to maximize the water transfer.