By Elizabeth Zach, staff writer ColoRiver

Four of the states that get their water from the Colorado River – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – should reduce demand as the drought continues, say federal regulators.. However, a recent federal report notes, too, that cities that reduce water use can also undergo population growth..

In its Moving Forward report, which details the river’s diminishing water, the Bureau of Reclamation and basin stakeholders say that Albuquerque, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and other major cities that receive Colorado River water plan to reduce demand by 700,000 acre-feet per year by 2030 through conservation. This is about three and half times Denver’s annual water use.

But the report also contains a caveat: cities tend to use conservation to grow larger, not to reduce pressure on the river.

“In many of the major metropolitan areas, conservation and reuse may not result in substantial reductions in diversions of Colorado River water because conservation and reuse are typically used to meet future growth or offset or delay the need for future water supplies. Municipal water providers are planning to use their full entitlements to Colorado River water.”

Moreover, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming are not yet using their full legal entitlement and they want to take more water from the river, according to the report.

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Link to report: