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Feds begin process of creating new guidelines for managing Colorado River

Blue water beneath white and pink cliffs
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Blue water beneath white and pink cliffs on the Colorado River.

The Department of the Interior announced today the start of a formal public input process for determining the rules that govern the Colorado River beyond 2026.

The current rules, established in 2007, are set to expire that year. The 2007 rules set out the guidelines for determining a shortage on the Colorado River when Lake Mead falls to certain elevations.

The federal government will host three virtual meetings in July.

The announcement comes as the seven Basin states are struggling to cope with diminished flows due to long-term drought and climate change.

In a separate process, Arizona, California, and Nevada recently hammered out an agreement for making temporary cuts to their water use over the next three years.