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Arizona, California Miss Federal Deadline for Drought Plans

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Arizona and California have missed a deadline set by the federal government for putting the final touches on their drought plans. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the plans are meant to reduce the risks of catastrophic shortage on the Colorado River.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is now accepting comments from the Governors of the seven Colorado River Basin states on what actions the agency should take to manage the river, in the absence of completed state plans. The deadline for comments is March 19.

Meanwhile, Arizona continues to negotiate final agreements between water providers, cities, and tribes about who will shoulder the burden of voluntary water cuts. California’s drought plan was held up by the Imperial Irrigation District, which wants two hundred million dollars to restore the drying Salton Sea.

The other Colorado River Basin states and Mexico have completed their agreements. Collectively, the drought plans are meant to remain in place until 2026, at which time new rules will be needed.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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