Lombardo joins plan for Colorado River preservation

The Lower Basin Plan runs through 2026
FILE - An image of the Colorado River
FILE - An image of the Colorado River(Ross D. Franklin | AP)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:30 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KOLO) - Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has joined a plan to conserve millions of acre-feet of water in the Colorado River over the next three years.

The plan was also signed on to by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, and California Governor Gavin Newsom, and will plan to conserve three million acre-feet over that time span.

The Lower Basin Plan runs through 2026.

In a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the governors said the proposal would result in greater protections for Lake Mead than other alternatives proposed.

They also said this proposal would allow the Basin states, in collaboration with the Department of Reclamation, to pivot to discuss post-2026 operations addressing the impacts of climate change on water supply availability and the existing overallocation of water.

“Nevada has long been a leader in regional water conservation efforts, and we’re pleased to continue leading through this agreement with other Lower Basin States,” said Governor Joe Lombardo. “Through this partnership, we look forward to equitably advancing our mutual goal of conserving our shared water resources. It’s never been more important to protect the Colorado River System, and this partnership is a critical next step in our efforts to sustain this essential water supply.”

The plan has been submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation with all seven Colorado River Basin States supporting its evaluation.

Newsom also chimed in on the agreement.

“The entire Western United States is on the frontlines of climate change — we must work together to address this crisis and the weather extremes between drought and flood,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “California has stepped up to make significant cuts to water usage and now, this historic partnership between California and other Lower Basin states will help maintain critical water supply for millions of Americans as we work together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River System for decades to come.”