Bloomberg Law
June 2, 2021, 10:01 AMUpdated: June 2, 2021, 1:16 PM

The West’s Extreme Drought: Colorado River Plans Explained (1)

Tripp Baltz
Tripp Baltz
Staff Correspondent

The West is locked in the grip of a 20-year megadrought, with the Colorado River approaching record-low flows.

The seven states in the Colorado River basin—Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming in the upper basin and Arizona, California and Nevada in the lower—established drought contingency plans in 2019 for managing and operating the river in the ongoing crisis. They’re the latest piece of the “Law of the River,” which allocates water to the seven states.

Here is some context for how those states address the situation.

1. How bad is the drought?

It could be the worst the basin has ...

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