It’s Not How Fast You Run, It’s How You Cross The Finish Line

Arizona has worked over the course of several years with the other States in the Colorado River Basin and the United States to develop an interstate Drought Contingency Plan to protect Colorado River supplies. And finally, on May 20, 2019, we were able to cross the finish line and say it’s “done.”

So, while everything is moving forward, we thought we could take a moment to slow down and reflect on how we got to this point.

June 13, 2018 – Reclamation Commissioner Calls For Action On Lake Mead “Contingency” Plans

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In a presentation on May 22 before the board of the nation’s largest irrigation district, the Imperial Irrigation District of southern California, Commissioner Burman urged all seven Colorado River system states – to take action “this year” on drought contingency plans to reduce the risk that Lake Mead may fall below tolerable levels.

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June 21, 2018 – Water Resources & Central Arizona Project Partner For Briefing On Drought Contingency Plan


The Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project co-sponsored a panel to discuss the systemic risks posed by potential shortage, as well as announce the kick off of an Arizona discussion on how to adopt and implement the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan.

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July 6, 2018 – Planning For Second Drought Contingency Plan Briefing Underway


The June 28 briefing closed with the announcement that an “Arizona Steering Committee” will be formed to discuss and recommend how to adopt and implement the Drought Contingency Plan in the Lower Basin of the Colorado River system in a way that is acceptable to Arizona water users.

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July 18, 2018 – ADWR, CAP And Bureau Of Reclamation Respond To Questions About Drought Contingency Plan


Demonstrating their commitment to address growing risks to Arizona’s Colorado River supply, Arizona and federal water leaders answered questions from the public for nearly three hours in central Phoenix.

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September 5, 2018 – The DCP Makes CO River Delivery Shortfalls Less Painful, But It Doesn’t Make Them Go Away


Tom Buschatzke, Arizona Department of Water Resources Director, and Ted Cooke, Central Arizona Project General Manager discussed how the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan, is designed to keep Lake Mead from further dropping to the most critical elevation levels, at which point Arizona’s Colorado River water users would be facing deep cuts to their water supplies and the river system would be in extreme stress.

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October 17, 2018 – How Will AZDCP Fit Into The Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan?


The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released drafts of the Upper Basin DCP and Lower Basin DCP documents. That gave the first glimpse at what will be included in the interstate agreement amongst the Upper Basin and Lower Basin states.

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December 20, 2018 – Getting To The Finish Line: What’s Next For Colorado River Drought Contingency Planning?


Within Arizona, stakeholders had been working to develop an Implementation Plan, a series of agreements that will govern the way that certain terms of the DCP will be implemented within Arizona once the DCP is effective.

The Implementation Plan was nearly in place. However, we were not yet able to say it was “done.”

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CO River Basin States Submit Drought Plans To Congress; USBR Rescinds Fed. Reg. Notice 


The seven states of the Colorado River Basin system took a huge step forward toward protecting and stabilizing their drought-threatened system on Tuesday, March 19, signing a Letter to Congress encouraging swift and necessary congressional action.

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March 29, 2019 – Colorado River DCP Proposals Get A Positive, Enthusiastic Reception In Congress


Support in Congress for the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans took a big step forward in March when lawmakers on a key House subcommittee expressed bipartisan – and, in many cases, enthusiastic – support for the effort to help stabilize the drought-troubled river system.

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April 12, 2019 – Congress Zips Into Action, Quickly Approving Long-Sought CO River DCP Authorization Act


The proposal to take federal action on behalf of the troubled Colorado River system morphed seemingly overnight into a legislative IndyCar powered by an astonishing level of bipartisan support.

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May 20, 2019 – DCP Signing Ceremony at Hoover Dam


“This is certainly a Day to Remember… it certainly is not the end, but it is a step forward.” – Tom Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources

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