States present divergent plans for Colorado River water rationing

Officials from states sharing the Colorado River have submitted differing proposals to the federal government on managing severe reductions in the river’s flow due to climate change, with disagreements on equitable distribution of these cutbacks.

Jennifer Yachnin reports for E&E News.


In short:

  • Seven states sharing the Colorado River have submitted conflicting proposals to the federal government to manage severe water cutbacks amidst ongoing drought and climate concerns.
  • The Upper Basin states suggest that the Lower Basin should bear more burden for reductions, while the Lower Basin calls for equitable distribution of cuts among all states.
  • Interior Department and Bureau of Reclamation to deliberate on the proposals with an objective to draft a consensus plan by the year's end, as current agreements expire in 2026.

Key quote:

"If we want to protect the system and ensure certainty for the 40 million people who rely on this water source, then we need to address the existing imbalance between supply and demand.”

— Becky Mitchell, Colorado’s Colorado River commissioner

Why this matters:

The outcome of these negotiations is important not just for environmental stewardship, but for health outcomes as well. Millions rely on this water for daily life, and equitable access to clean water is a determinant of public health, echoing a significant national issue of resource sustainability.

Opinion: Water injustice on display in the Southwest US.

extreme heat disaster designation
Credit: VladisChern/BigStock Photo ID: 198752527

Labor and environmental groups push FEMA to classify extreme heat as a major disaster

A coalition of labor, environmental, and healthcare organizations is urging FEMA to classify extreme heat and wildfire smoke as major disasters, aiming to unlock federal funds for community protection and worker safety.

Manuela Andreoni reports for The New York Times.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
eu nature restoration law
Credit: catcha/BigStock Photo ID:456142131

Austria’s last-minute support enables EU Nature Restoration Law

After months of deadlock, the EU's Nature Restoration Law passed, driven by a crucial change of heart from Austria.

Marta Pacheco reports for Euronews.

Keep reading...Show less

Canada passes Bill C-226 to combat environmental racism

Canada's new Bill C-226 aims to develop a national strategy to address environmental racism and ensure affected communities are part of the solution.

Denise Balkissoon reports for The Narwhal.

Keep reading...Show less

Pipeline project faces tribunal over environmental and Indigenous rights violations

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, now operational, was recently condemned at a "rights of nature" tribunal for infringing on environmental and Indigenous rights.

Hannah Chanatry reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less

Supreme Court ruling could impact environmental policies

The U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision on the Chevron doctrine could significantly affect environmental regulations, including those on pollution and climate change.

Jody Freeman writes for Yale Environment 360.

Keep reading...Show less

Spain's green energy boom creates supply-demand challenges

Spain's rapid expansion of renewable energy has led to excess electricity supply, presenting challenges for the industry.

Guy Hedgecoe reports for the BBC.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
nurses climate change

Op-ed: In a warming world, nurses heal people and the planet

Nurses have the experience, motivation and public support to make an important contribution in tackling the climate crises.

planetary health diet

This diet will likely keep you alive longer — and help the planet

New research finds the Planetary Health Diet lowers our risk to most major causes of death.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Jose Ramon Becerra Vera on democratizing science

“In their own way, they’re becoming experts, not just of their experiences but also of the data collection process.”

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

“Of all the levels of radium in produced water or brine around the world that I’ve looked at, I have encountered none that are consistently as high as what comes out of the Marcellus Shale.”

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.