USBR Forecasts “Tier Zero” Shortage On Colorado River

Apr 17, 2020

Arizona is facing modest cuts to its water use in the next two years as part of the regional effort to plan for drought in the Colorado River Basin. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Credit National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its projections for the Colorado River’s water supply for the next two years. Spring and summer inflow to Lake Powell is expected to be 78 percent of average, due to dry conditions last fall. Lake Mead is projected to fall into “Tier Zero” conditions for 2021 and 2022. That’s a new designation under the Drought Contingency Plan which requires Arizona, Nevada and Mexico take cuts in their water supply. Arizona’s reduction of nearly two hundred thousand acre-feet of water will come from the Central Arizona Project, the canal that serves Phoenix and Tucson. The Tier Zero reduction will affect CAP’s water banking program and agricultural customers, but not cities or tribes.