WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Greg Stanton urged the Bureau of Reclamation to consider the consensus-based modeling proposal made today by six of the seven Colorado River Basin states to protect the long-term health of the river:   

“The depletion of the Colorado River is a slow-moving natural disaster—one that threatens the livelihoods of 40 million people across seven basin states.  Saving it will require collaboration, compromise and some tough tradeoffs.

In that spirit, six of the seven basin states have come together on a modeling proposal for the Bureau of Reclamation to consider as it looks to make the necessary cuts to save the Colorado.  This model is the result of months of challenging work and weighs every river user’s best interests, and I strongly encourage the Bureau of Reclamation to include this alternative in its review.

The Bureau’s deadlines for the basin states to reach agreement have come and gone with no action from the federal government.  While many of the states have worked together to reach an agreement that works for everyone, California refuses to do its part—and in some parts of the state is using more water, not less.  The Bureau of Reclamation must take action on this consensus-driven proposal.  We cannot wait any longer.

Stanton sharply criticized California’s increased water usage in a June 2022 letter to the Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation, following reports in the Los Angeles Times that California’s Colorado River region had actually increased water usage by nearly 41 percent in April 2022 compared to April 2020. [LINK] In September 2022, Stanton appealed directly to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, calling on the state to help shoulder the necessary water cuts to prevent the Colorado River system from reaching deadpool. [LINK]