The Colorado River – often called the lifeline of the southwest – supplies water to more than 30 million people and more than two million acres of agricultural land. With an average annual supply of 14 million acre-feet, the Colorado River supplies seven states – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, California and Nevada – as well as several American Indian tribes. California’s Colorado River allocation, which serves the southern coastal and desert areas of the state from north of Los Angeles to the Mexico border, is limited to 4.4 million acre-feet, about 30 percent of the total allocation.
But California’s designated portion of the Colorado River supply has proven to be insufficient for the water needs of our state’s families and farmers. Only after lengthy negotiations regarding the Colorado River Water Use Plan did California interests and the federal government settle on a plan that kept California within its 4.4 million acre-feet allotment. Even now, the limitations on our Colorado River allocation cause instability for our state’s water supply.
SCWC participates actively in discussions concerning California’s Colorado River Use Plan. As time goes on, and the demand for water continues to grow, SCWC will continue working with state and federal officials to protect California’s Colorado River supply and help ensure that it is enough to give California families and farmers the water they need.