Author: Teresa

California and other states ask for restrictions on Colorado River water during drought

California and other states ask for restrictions on Colorado River water during drought

More water restrictions likely as California pledges to cut use of Colorado River supply

California and other states are asking the Trump administration to help them cut use of Colorado River water during the drought, according to a letter to President Trump from Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., and other top officials.

As the Trump administration considers its policy response to the state’s request, California has called for the use of Colorado River water to be restricted further and urged officials to submit new water usage data. There are about 100 days left in the year so far and the goal is to cut 20% from current levels.

The letter asks: “Please consider further restrictions in which California and all other states that rely on the Colorado River for groundwater rights request that the United States reduce the amount of water we currently send to the West under the Colorado River Storage Program.”

California and most other water users, including cities, states, tribes and farmers, use water from the Colorado River to support their aquifers. Federal law prohibits the use of water for agriculture on the Colorado River, a prohibition that has driven up prices.

The Trump administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Officials said they were also seeking a federal waiver that would allow them to cut water in other ways and to use water in other ways that didn’t directly increase reliance on the Colorado River.

“I do not believe the government can meet the needs of my water,” Newsom said in a statement. “This is as simple as that. But my administration is working to make the case that we must make it through the courts.”

The Trump administration has come under fire on the issue. Environmental groups have claimed the restrictions will make it harder to meet water demands during the drought, while some farmers fear the restrictions may lead to a spike in groundwater extraction.

Newsom and other officials said they are hoping the administration’s response will be “consistent with the nation’s commitment to the international water treaty.”

Colorado River water managers do not oppose a reduction in water deliveries, officials said, according to a letter to Newsom from the Department of the Interior.

The letter, signed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, said the reductions would “be consistent with the administration’s climate change objectives and water resources, conservation and management goals

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