Interior Leaders Convene Meeting to Discuss Moving Forward on Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Challenges

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U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor joined dozens of stakeholders outlining a path of next steps to address projected water supply and demand imbalances in the Colorado River Basin. In collaboration with representatives from the seven Colorado River Basin states, the Ten Tribes Partnership and conservation organizations, the Moving Forward event highlighted the next steps based on the findings of the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study released in December.

U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor joined dozens of stakeholders outlining a path of next steps to address projected water supply and demand imbalances in the Colorado River Basin.

In collaboration with representatives from the seven Colorado River Basin states, the Ten Tribes Partnership and conservation organizations, the Moving Forward event highlighted the next steps based on the findings of the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study released in December.

"Only by working together can we improve public understanding of the enormous challenges facing the Colorado River Basin and identify the potential solutions that can help reduce future uncertainties and meet those challenges," Assistant Secretary Anne Castle said. "This continuing effort will require innovative thinking, integration of many viewpoints and a commitment to work in a positive and collaborative spirit."

The Moving Forward event at the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center in San Diego introduced the next steps framework as part of the collaborative process to work on the challenges in the Colorado River Basin.

"We have made substantial progress addressing Colorado River water management over the past several years," Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said. "From the interim guidelines for shortage and surplus in 2007, the 2012 signing of Minute 319 to the treaty with Mexico and the latest WaterSMART funding announcements supporting new projects and studies, we remain focused on wise use and new technologies to address upcoming gaps in supply and demand."

Last week, Interior announced $8.2 million in WaterSMART funding for projects to assist the Colorado River Basin by augmenting water supplies, conserving and reusing existing water supplies and plan for the future of the basin. Interior awarded $2.8 million in Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for seven projects, $1.8 million for one Basin Study and one plan of study and $3.6 million for water reclamation and reuse projects in Albuquerque, N.M. and Long Beach, Calif. More information on the WaterSMART program and the newly funded projects is at http://www.usbr.gov/waterSMART.

The 2012 Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, the most comprehensive survey of future supplies and demands on the Colorado River ever developed, was produced collaboratively with a wide array of interested individuals, organizations and scientists. The study’s findings projected significant shortfalls between expected water supplies and demands in the Colorado River Basin in coming decades. The study is widely acknowledged as a call to action for all who rely on the Colorado River.

For more information on the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, visit http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy.html.

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Rose Davis
Bureau of Reclamation
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