A deal struck between California, Arizona and Nevada will cut about 13 percent of the total water use in the lower Colorado Basin – around a trillion gallons – over the next four years. The agreement is an effort to protect the country’s largest reservoirs from dropping to critical levels because of a climate change-induced megadrought, and is the largest reduction of water use in recent history.
Farms and residents across the Southwest are likely to experience significant water reductions. “This is a step in the right direction but a temporary solution,” Dave White, a professor at Arizona State University told Grist. “This deal does not address the long-term water sustainability challenges in the region.” Cities and irrigation districts in qualifying states will receive around $1.2 billion from the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act in exchange for using less water. (AP, CNN, Axios, NPR, Grist, New York Times $, Washington Post $, LA Times $)