by Fred Breedlove

Less than two weeks ago, we wrote that the Department of Interior proposed reducing Colorado River deliveries in 2022 by 480,000 acre-feet and that Assistant Secretary Trujillo had asked the Basin States for comments on this proposal.  Wasting no time at all, the Basin States responded last week.

In a letter dated April 22, 2022 and signed by the designated Governors’ representatives of the seven Basin States, the Basin States agreed to the Assistant Secretary’s proposed cuts.  In addition, the Basin States requested that system operation determinations in 2022 should be made “as if” the 480,000 acre-feet being held back was actually released from Glen Canyon Dam.  Clearly concerned that Interior can make unilateral decisions for managing the Colorado River system, the Basin States also asked for Interior’s continued commitment to collaborate with the Basin States on system management decisions. Time will tell if this action will be sufficient to hold off on additional emergency cuts.  Stay tuned for Interior’s next move.