/ Modified dec 16, 2021 2:26 p.m.

Lower basin states sign deal to put water back in Lake Mead amid dropping levels

Arizona, California, Nevada, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are pooling more than $100 million dollars to incentivize reductions in water use.

lake mead agreement signing photo Representatives from lower Colorado River basin states, the federal government and tribes sign the new 500+ plan. The deal, formalized at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference in Las Vegas, allocates millions of dollars to help put water back into Lake Mead.
Alex Hager/KUNC

Water agencies from three western states and the federal government have signed a deal to leave extra water in Lake Mead, a reservoir that supplies water throughout the Southwest.

It’s an effort to stop Lake Mead from dropping past critically low water levels, as drought continues to push supplies past already-historic lows.

Under the new plan, states would leave enough water to supply over a million homes each year.

Arizona, California, Nevada, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are pooling more than $100 million dollars to incentivize reductions in water use.

The measure is seen as a way to encourage voluntary cutbacks before mandatory restrictions are triggered.

Experts say it's only a band-aid in the face of the region’s steadily shrinking water supply.

Policymakers are under pressure to come up with new guidelines before the current rules expire in 2026.

MORE: News, Water
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona