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Bureau Of Reclamation Announces Water Cutbacks For Agriculture

Policy experts have predicted for months that Southwestern drought could lead to cuts for Arizona water users.

Those predictions came true Monday when the Bureau of Reclamation announced Monday that cuts for Pinal County will take effect beginning next year.

The Central Arizona Project was created to transport water from the Colorado River to the state’s interior.

The supply is based on the levels of Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which have dropped in part due to climate change.

Lake Mead has dropped to historic lows, which means Pinal County farmers will lose much of their CAP water.

More cutbacks could be announced later.

“This has been something that has been foreseen, and there’s been a great deal of planning, and deal-making around this,” said Sarah Porter of the the Morrison Institute, a think tank that analyzes public policy.

Pinal County farmers will switch to groundwater to make up for the lack of CAP water.

Hear Audubon Southwest Policy Director Haley Paul With Host Mark Brodie On The Show

colorado-river-shortage-show-mb-20210817.mp3

Haley Paul, policy director for Audubon Southwest, joined The Show to discuss what the cuts might look like in Arizona.

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Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.