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Drought Plan Legislation Introduced

Lake Powell
U.S. Department of Interior
file | agency
Lake Powell.

Western members of Congress have introduced legislation authorizing the secretary of interior to enact the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The DCP is a deal among the seven states of the Colorado River basin: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah, which comprise the Upper Basin, and Arizona, California, and Nevada, which make up the Lower Basin.

The states are trying to keep water in Lakes Mead and Powell, the main reservoirs of the system. Those lakes have been dropping and water managers are trying to reduce the risk they will get dangerously low.

All 14 Senators from the Basin have signed on as sponsors in that chamber. Support in the House for identical legislation is also bipartisan.

Putting the Drought Contingency Plan into federal law allows certain provisions of a deal with Mexico — called Minute 323 — to go into effect.

Bret Jaspers was previously the managing editor for news at WSKG in upstate New York. Before that, he was a producer at WYPR in Baltimore and at Wisconsin Public Radio.His stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Here & Now, and also the BBC and Marketplace. Way back when, he started as an intern and fill-in producer at WNYC’s On the Media, and then helped out on The Brian Lehrer Show and Soundcheck.When he's not covering the news, he's probably running, reading, or eating. Jaspers is also a member of Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional stage actors.