California wants to strong-arm its neighbors into water usage cuts
Opinion by Zachary Faria
As California continues to bear the brunt of its terrible water storage policies, the state is now asking its neighbors to cut their own water usage so there is more left over for itself.
All seven states that rely on the Colorado River missed a deadline last year given to them by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to explain how they would use 15%-30% less water. Six of those states — Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming — finally reached an agreement this year, but California held out.
The Golden State decided to release its own plan because, under the plan from the other states, California would see big water cuts. The other states accounted for roughly 1.5 million acre-feet of water that the Colorado River lost to evaporation and transportation, while California’s plan does not. Under California’s plan, Arizona and Nevada would see the biggest cuts.
California reportedly went as far as to float the idea of cutting off major cities in the other states from the river’s water supply, including Las Vegas and Phoenix. The Colorado River accounts for 90% of Las Vegas’s water supply and 40% of Phoenix’s.
Of course, while California tries to saddle other states with bigger water cuts, the state has treated water storage with contempt inside its own borders. Environmentalists and, by extension, state Democrats oppose building new dams and pumps that would move water south to the Central Valley and Los Angeles, even as the state uses its Central Valley farmers as a justification for cutting Colorado River access for other states.
Storing rainwater is something state leaders are only now reconsidering after record storms already passed. A reservoir with $2.7 billion in funding that was already approved by voters in 2014 has no future in sight, thanks to the state’s environmental regulations and red tape. Even seawater desalination plants are considered taboo for not being environmentally friendly.
Therefore, California will continue to focus on strong-arming smaller states into water cuts instead.
Nothing is stopping California Democrats from fixing the state’s water problems in its own borders other than their adherence to the ludicrous positions supported by the state’s environmentalists. Getting Arizona and Nevada to cut their water use so California can avoid larger cuts is a short-term “solution,” but the state’s water storage and usage troubles will be fixed only when state Democrats decide to treat the issue seriously at home.