Arizona, Other Western States Unlikely To Meet Colorado River Drought Plan Deadline

The odds are looking increasingly poor that Arizona and other Western states will meet a March 4 federal deadline for wrapping up Colorado River drought plans. That’s not just because of the ongoing conflict over a now-shelved water rights bill for Eastern Arizona that prompted a threat from the Gila River Indian Community to bolt this state’s drought plan. It’s also not just because of a Southern California irrigation district’s efforts to secure $200 million in U.S. funds to shore up the dying Salton Sea. Without that money, the Imperial Irrigation District — which holds more Colorado River rights than anyone else — says it won’t sign onto the drought plan that is supposed to cover all seven river basin states.