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Tier 2A water shortage declared

Local officials and farmers plan to conserve - 13 On Your Side’s Arlette Yousif reports

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA/KECY) - Arizona is among several states facing a drought. Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation declared a Tier 2A shortage of water from the Colorado River.

Now, Arizona will be required to take a cut in water deliveries of nearly 600,000 acre feet.

The Colorado River is the main water supply for the Yuma region. While our region uses only a fraction of the river’s water, our agriculture fields rely on it.

Jonathan Lines says that our region has always done an exceptional job of conserving water, especially over the last 40 years.

“Yuma anticipated problems with the Colorado. They understood that Arizona was going to be a growing state. And the farmers put a plan into place and through technological advances, they’re able to do more with less,” says Yuma County Board of Supervisors Member Jonathan Lines.

The Colorado River is the main water supply for Arizona, parts of California, and Mexico and borders the states and countries. Local Ag is offering more.

“Two months ago the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation warned that the legs were dropping so fast that she wanted an additional two to 400 million acre feet to be not diverted from the lakes,” explains Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture Executive Director Paul Brierley.

Some possibilities to conserve water include using a drip system, or not farming as much land.

The local agriculture industry as well as local leaders are still working out a plan to cut back in 2023, if necessary.

“Knowing that agriculture uses about 70% of the water from the Colorado River agriculture is going to have to be a part of the plan to save the river,” says Brierley.

According to Lines and Brierley, Yuma agriculture has proposed using roughly 20% less water in 2023, not only to help our region but to save the entire water system.

Currently, nothing has been decided. The conversation about the Colorado River water supply and the drought is ongoing.

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at arlette.yousif@kecytv.com.

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