Western states to reduce Colorado River use as water levels fall

The biggest water cut comes to Arizona, which will have to reduce its yearly allotment of water from the river by 21%

Updated: August 16, 2022 - 4:07pm

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Arizona, Nevada and Mexico are being forced to reduce their Colorado River System use in January as a historic drought is taking a severe toll on Lake Mead's water level.

The biggest water cut comes to Arizona, which will have to reduce its yearly allotment of water from the river by 21%.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said in a press release Tuesday the water reductions come as Lake Mead is planning on operating in 2023 at a Level 2 Shortage Condition for the first time ever. 

The Biden administration blamed the drought on climate change and touted the $8.3 billion investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

"The worsening drought crisis impacting the Colorado River Basin is driven by the effects of climate change, including extreme heat and low precipitation. In turn, severe drought conditions exacerbate wildfire risk and ecosystems disruption, increasing the stress on communities and our landscapes," Deputy Interior Secretary Tommy Beaudreau said.