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Home > Natural Resources > Water Strategies to Preserve Natural Resource Supplies and Quality

California Water & Rationing Strategy

California's water supply is ensured with Water 2025 Initiative is the most important water pact since 1922.

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California water conservation December 2007 -- With scattered water rationing looming statewide, California has secured a virtual lock on its Colorado River supply and will be allowed more storage at Lake Mead, effectively creating a new reservoir without pouring an ounce of concrete.

Water experts tout the Water 2025 Initiative as the most important water pact since 1922.

The seven-state accord will clearly allot state-by-state water reductions in the event of a drought on the Colorado River, a plan two years in the making. The states’ leaders have worked throughout the negotiation process to determine a workable plan. The seven states that rely most heavily on the Colorado River Basin and are expected to sign onto the agreement are: California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.

The broad seven-state accord will, for the first time, spell out how reductions would be imposed should a historic drought continue to plague the Colorado River basin.

"This is a monumental agreement on the Colorado River. It provides us with new tools and possibilities," said Roger Patterson, assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

More than two years in the making, the accord charts how cuts will be imposed if Lake Mead continues to shrink. Arizona and Nevada must absorb losses in the first rounds, sparing California until an almost apocalyptic scenario.

Threats that the dry spell along the river – now stretching into its eighth year – will turn even worse drew the states together to determine how to cope with shortages. This, for the first time, allows Metropolitan to bank unused water and have it stay in Lake Mead with Met's name on it.

The compromise protecting California's allotment of 4.4 million acre-feet has implications beyond the Colorado River. Southern California faces potential sharp delivery cuts from the north this year, and perhaps for some time to come, after a federal court ruling to protect an endangered fish in the Sacramento delta.

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Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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