Viewpoints: Everyone loses if we can’t agree on water

CAP board members: Arizona has a long history of cooperation on water, and we need it now more than ever.
3 big drought plans are in the works The water scarcity dilemma on the Colorado River is two-fold: We’re facing an extended drought and a "structural deficit," which means that the Colorado River is over-allocated by about 1.2 million acre feet (or a 12 foot reduction in Lake Mead’s water elevation per year).
To manage water scarcity during an almost two-decade-long drought, Arizona water leaders agreed to the 2007 Shortage and Sharing Guidelines.
The purpose of the Drought Contingency Plan is to address the immediate problem of drought by reducing the use of Colorado River water to prevent lower water levels in Lake Mead from triggering water shortages.
Because the risks of shortage at Lake Mead are so high to Arizonans, we negotiated the Drought Contingency Plan Plus to save even more water in Lake Mead by reducing Colorado River water use and storage within Arizona for three years.
Central Arizona Project experts want to avoid unintentionally triggering a shortage at taxpayer expense and believe that a flexible approach to managing water savings in Lake Mead, which takes into account the highly variable hydrology of the river as well as water savings efforts of other states, would allow water managers to more effectively avoid future shortages at the lake.
It is essential that we put our differences aside to find innovative solutions that result in lasting conservation to improve the health of the river and to secure our water supplies.
This collaborative partnership is an essential element in Arizona’s effective water management, ensuring that the knowledge and expertise of both the Water Conservation District and the Department of Water Resources are harnessed when making decisions that impact the Colorado River and Central Arizona Project.
It is essential that Arizonans continue working together to avoid shortages on Lake Mead in times of drought and to achieve lasting conservation of Colorado River water.
They both serve as elected members of Central Arizona Water Conservation District board of directors.

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