Drought Plan Legislation Introduced

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 8:27pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 1:40pm
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U.S. Department of Interior
Lake Powell.

Western members of Congress have introduced legislation authorizing the secretary of interior to enact the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The DCP is a deal among the seven states of the Colorado River basin: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah, which comprise the Upper Basin, and Arizona, California, and Nevada, which make up the Lower Basin.

The states are trying to keep water in Lakes Mead and Powell, the main reservoirs of the system. Those lakes have been dropping and water managers are trying to reduce the risk they will get dangerously low.

All 14 Senators from the Basin have signed on as sponsors in that chamber. Support in the House for identical legislation is also bipartisan.

Putting the Drought Contingency Plan into federal law allows certain provisions of a deal with Mexico — called Minute 323 — to go into effect.

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