Sen. Mark Kelly says Arizona cannot continue to bear the brunt of Colorado River cuts

By Ron Dungan
Published: Monday, December 26, 2022 - 9:15am

Mark Kelly
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Mark Kelly

Arizona will face another cut to its share of Colorado River water in 2023.

But U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) says states that use the river need to come to an agreement in the near future.

Seven states share the Colorado River as it makes way to Mexico.

In August, Arizona was forced to absorb another cut to its share of that water.

The Grand Canyon state’s junior share of the river was established years ago, when policymakers set a course that took abundant snowpack and high flows for granted.

But climate change has changed those assumptions. Kelly said recently that as states figure out what to do next, others should bear some of the cuts.

“This can’t just be on the back of Arizona. I mean we’ve had to take significant cuts, now that we’re into Tier 2A of the Drought Contingency Plan, soon to be 2B, about a 21% cut,” Kelly said.

The federal government says that states need to come up with new water conservation measures by February.

Politics Sustainability Climate Change Water