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Lower Basin States propose new approach for Colorado River

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema recently called on these upstream states to come to the negotiating table to secure the water future of the Western United States and provide local water guidance. Some of them also agree with this.

“We would agree with Sen. Sinema here,” said Elston Grubaugh, general manager of the Welton Mohawk Drainage District.

Downstream states, also known as California, Arizona and Nevada, are proposing a new long-term approach to Colorado River operations.

“We feel like it's a positive step forward to bring some certainty about how things are going to work in the future,” Grubaugh said.

The general manager of one local water district was able to share what one of these new guidelines is.

“Once the entire river system is depleted to a certain percentage, there will be certain reductions, but we are still negotiating what those percentages and reductions will be,” said Nick Barr, general manager of the Byrd Water District. said.

But these negotiations are important for Yuma, especially considering it's one of Yuma's major local businesses.

“People don't understand what Yuma is producing. We basically feed our people with vegetables and produce. If Yuma's AG water is harvested, there will be a national food shortage problem.” It could become, and no one wants to see that,” Barr said.

The current guidelines have been in place since 2007, but are scheduled to expire in 2026, making it important for negotiations to take place as soon as possible.

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