By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

The Colorado River, which serves seven states in the American Southwest, will likely have a shortage of water by 2020 and the federal government has ordered the states to plan for drought conditions.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming all rely on the Colorado River, which carries snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Dams along it generate hydropower and measure water releases. Along with supplying drinking water to urban users in the region, it also irrigates crops. Various agricultural districts and municipal water systems, as well as Tribal users in five of the states have agreed on tentative plans if the Colorado delivers less than what is needed.

Mostly, however, the states and residents affected by the order are skeptical that a uniform plan can be developed.

“To me, the best way of conserving water is not to use it,” Keith Moses, vice chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribal Council in Arizona told the Associated Press. He noted, too, that this would mean limiting growth so as not to continue to drain the Colorado River.

To read more, go here: