ENVIRONMENT

Utah, 6 other Colorado River Basin states offer new alternative to conserve river’s water

May 22, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2023, 12:59 pm

Glen Canyon Dam pictured...

Glen Canyon Dam holds back Lake Powell in Page, Ariz., on Monday, July 18, 2022. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox says he believes a new plan that Utah and the six other Colorado River Basin states are recommending to help reduce Colorado River water consumption would be “a win for everybody” if it’s approved by the federal government.

Representatives of the seven Colorado Basin states — Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming — announced Monday that they are proposing a new “consensus-based system conservation proposal” that Arizona, California and Nevada agreed on, which seeks to conserve at least 3 million acre-feet of the Colorado River system’s water by 2026.

“It’s very positive. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, (and) Utah has been very engaged,” Cox said following an event at Mountain Ridge High School in Herriman Monday. “It’s a win for everybody. We know we have to do our part and all of the Colorado River Basin states have to do their part, as well. Just seeing everybody on board — I didn’t know, a year ago, if we’d be able to get here — but I’m really happy that we’re here.”

The states informed U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton of their decision through a letter Monday, adding that they would try to conserve half of the 3 million acre-feet by the end of 2024.

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Utah, 6 other Colorado River Basin states offer new alternative to conserve river’s water