The two biggest reservoirs on the Colorado River, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are both under 50-percent of their capacity. Delegates from the federal government, seven Western states, Native American tribes and environmentalists will have that in mind as they meet this week in San Diego to discuss the future of the river.
The meetings are the next step following the release of a study last December looking at the growing demand for the Colorado’s limited water. Bart Miller with the environmental group Western Resource Advocates says it’s in everybody’s interest to work cooperatively.
“I think there’s enough momentum around this urgency about addressing the issue," Miller tells KUER. "We don’t have forever to figure this out. I think the Basin study was pretty clear that we’re actually needing to take some action soon.”
Miller says there are huge opportunities to conserve water on the Colorado, especially with the amount Western cities are taking from the river. And he believes new agreements can be reached without scrapping the interstate compact governing the Colorado that dates back to 1922.