Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the seven Colorado River Basin states agreed to the submission of a Lower Basin proposal for analysis under the Bureau of Reclamation’s draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS):
“As the Colorado River Basin states continue to negotiate, it is my hope that any agreement includes durable, verifiable, and enforceable commitments to conserve water. We were fortunate to experience heavy snowfall this winter but we are not out of the woods from the megadrought in the American West. I welcome the analysis of a third alternative as part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement but I urge the Department of Interior to prioritize long-term water conservation opportunities.”
The proposal from California, Arizona, and Nevada commits to measures to conserve at least 3 million-acre-feet (maf) of system water through the end of 2026, when the current operating guidelines are set to expire.