On Friday, September 9, 2022, Congressman Greg Stanton of Arizona and Congresswoman Susie Lee of Nevada held a call with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton to discuss the dire situation on the Colorado River and ongoing interstate negotiations to protect the future of the system.

Stanton and Lee, who represent two of the three Lower Basin states, underscored the importance of urgency and shared sacrifice among all basin users.

Stanton urged the Department of Interior to take immediate action protect the river system because it does not appear that the basin states will reach a voluntary agreement to conserve the additional 2 million-to 4-million-acre feet necessary in time to avoid system collapse. He said that the combination of the states failing to reach agreement and the federal government not using its full authority has created greater uncertainty about the system’s future.

Lee stressed that the Colorado is in crisis and that without Interior’s action there is not sufficient time to make the progress necessary to protect the system. She also said that effective use of the $4 billion passed by Congress through the Inflation Reduction Act for drought relief is imperative.

Stanton reiterated that time is of the essence and that urgent action is necessary now. He also said that the United States must actively engage with Mexico on additional protection volumes as they too will need to be a partner in this effort.

The Secretary and Representatives Lee and Stanton committed to remaining in frequent communication regarding the issue.