First Drought Contingency Plan Contributions Triggered from Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico

A recent photo of Lake Mead shows the reservoir’s reduced levels, although good hydrology in 2019 did increase levels enough to prevent a shortage declaration. The most recent figures by the Bureau of Reclamation place Lake Mead at level 1,089 feet, fourteen feet above the trigger for a shortage declaration and mandatory reductions. However, even at 1,089 feet, the first ever contributions to the river — affecting Arizona, Nevada and Mexico — under the Drought Contingency Plan will be implemented as part of 2020 river operations.

It has been well documented that the Colorado River has experienced a positive year hydrologically thanks to record snowfalls in 2019. Through the weather patterns this year, the impacts of drought on the river eased enough so that a shortage declaration was avoided for 2020 and is expected to be avoided in 2021 and possibly beyond. The good news clearly was reason for a

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