According to Tucson.com, a new study from Utah State University said Arizona and the other two Lower Colorado River Basin states, California and Nevada, may have to reduce water use from Lake Mead by 40 percent by 2050. The study also says the four Upper Basin states must dramatically scale back or kill plans to divert more water from an already depleted river. Those states are Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The study comes as the seven states in the Colorado River Basin prepare for a series of negotiations over new operating guidelines to take effect in 2026. But experts warn that may take too long. The 2019 drought contingency plan requires Arizona to take up to 720,000 acre-feet in cuts and California to take up to 350,000 acre-feet in cuts once Lake Mead drops low enough. Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project acknowledged the need to adapt. The Bureau of Reclamation has not specified dates for when river negotiations will start.
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