Phoenix agrees to leave additional water in Lake Mead in effort to slow reservoir’s decline
Jul 7, 2022, 4:45 AM
(AP Photo/John Locher)
PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council last week agreed to leave additional Colorado River water in Lake Mead in an effort to slow the reservoir’s decline.
About 14,000 acre-feet of water will stay in the reservoir along the Arizona-Nevada border as part of the 500+ Plan.
The plan’s goal is to leave 500,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead every year through 2026.
“In this time of extreme drought, it is not easy to convince governments to leave water behind,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a press release. “However, I believe we are all acutely focused on what it will take to help Arizona communities thrive for the long term.”
Phoenix, Tucson, the Gila River Indian Community and others across the state have pledged to make their own reservoir contributions.
Arizona’s capital city first made its contribution to the plan in January, leaving 16,000 acre-feet in Lake Mead.
Phoenix gets about $7.8 million for leaving water in Lake Mead.
That money will go toward the city’s Water Revenue Fund, which will help purchase water from other sources and fund conservation programs.
“We need that conservation trend to continue,” Gallego said. “But as the drought stretches on, we are constantly looking for ways to be even better stewards of our most precious resource.”