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Analysts: Tier 2 cutbacks not enough to solve water shortage on Colorado

The federal Bureau of Reclamation has announced more cuts to Arizona’s share of Colorado River water. But some water policy analysts were expecting more.

In the months leading up to Tuesday’s announcement, as Lake Powell and Lake Mead levels remained low, Department of Interior officials hinted they might take bold measures if the states didn’t come up with conservation measures on their own.

Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at ASU says that the agency fell short because the Tier 2 cutbacks were expected.

“And they’re all in agreement that more water needs to be left in the system, and we don’t have any actual concrete steps toward making that happen,” Porter said.

She said that although steps to repair infrastructure might provide some water savings, they will not address the problem.

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