© 2024 KPCW

Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Utah says it shouldn’t have to take Colorado River cuts. Other states say it needs to.

FILE - Low water levels at Wahweap Bay at Lake Powell along the Upper Colorado River Basin are seen, June 9, 2021, at the Utah and Arizona border at Wahweap, Ariz. A Native American tribe with one of the largest outstanding claims to water in the Colorado River basin is closing in on a settlement with more than a dozen parties Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, putting it on a path to piping water to tens of thousands of tribal members in Arizona who still live without it. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Ross D. Franklin
AP Photo
Low water levels at Wahweap Bay at Lake Powell along the Upper Colorado River Basin are seen, June 9, 2021, at the Utah and Arizona border.

Facing extreme drought and climate change, Western states that use Colorado River water can’t agree on who needs to reduce their use.

The Western states that depend on the Colorado River say that they want to manage it sustainably in the face of climate change and ensure a predictable water supply for their residents.

They have diverging approaches to achieving those goals.

On Wednesday, after months of negotiations, the Upper Colorado River Basin states (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin states (Arizona, Nevada and California) announced their separate plans for operating the river and its reservoirs after 2026, when current operating guidelines expire. Each basin submitted its plan to the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that manages water projects nationwide.

The Colorado River Compact of 1922 split the seven states that use the river’s water into two basins. The Upper Basin draws its water allocation from the river itself, while the Lower Basin gets theirs from the country’s largest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

All seven states tried to come up with a unified post-2026 plan for both basins, but they couldn’t see eye-to-eye, resulting in the separate proposals submitted today.

Read the full story at sltrib.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.