04.24.19

The Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, Explained – Read More on How Chair Grijalva’s Recently Enacted Bill Helps the West

Washington, D.C. – Last week, President Trump signed Chair Raúl M. Grijalva’s (D-Ariz.) Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act into law, marking a new chapter for 40 million western water users who rely on the Colorado River to support their communities, farms and economies. In a new Medium post, the House Natural Resources Committee lays out the many ways in which the plan improves prospects for the seven Colorado River Basin states and makes it possible to begin the even tougher long-term negotiations to come.

Grijalva spoke at a March 28 Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee hearing on the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, featuring testimony from water experts representing each of the seven states involved in the Plan – Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California and New Mexico – and from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. His bill passed the House on April 8 and the Senate on April 9.

Trump signed Grijalva’s bill into law on April 16.

The full Medium piece is available at http://bit.ly/2PqPbq5. As the piece notes, the Colorado River

provides water for 5.5 million acres of irrigated agriculture and to cities and towns across the West, including the residents of Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Denver. Colorado River water makes possible those perfect peaches from Palisade, Colorado, and winter salads from southern California. Outdoor recreation along the Colorado River, including rafting, fishing, bird watching, and hiking, helps support an estimated $25 billion recreational economy. The Colorado River is an essential element of many of the nation’s most iconic landscapes, from the headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park down through the Grand Canyon.

Thanks to Grijalva’s bill – which was supported by a wide alliance of Native American tribes, conservation advocates, state representatives and local stakeholders – the people and places that rely on the Colorado River have more time to finalize a long-term conservation plan.

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