Reps. Crow, Neguse, DeGette Help Introduce Bipartisan Colorado River Conservation Bill Affecting 40M People in Western United States

Press Release

Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Environment

Representatives Jason Crow (CO-06), Joe Neguse (CO-02), and Diana DeGette (CO-01) joined a bipartisan group of Western members led by Reps. Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), and Susie Lee (NV-03) to help introduced the Colorado River Basin Conservation Act which incentivizes Colorado River water users to conserve more precious water resources

As the Colorado River is facing historic challenges in meeting the water needs of millions of people living in the West, this legislation reauthorizes the System Conservation Pilot Program, as part of the Upper Colorado River Commission'sFive-Point Plan to avoid mandatory cuts to Colorado River water users. This program is critical to helping keep water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, reservoirs that are part of a system providing water to more than 40 million people across the Western United States. This crucial bill comes at the mark of the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which protects streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and wetlands across the country.

"Colorado faces the driest climate in U.S. history. That's why I'm proud to work with members of the CO delegation as well as Reps. Stansbury, Lesko, and Lee to empower community water conservation efforts in response to the drought," said Rep. Crow. "Reauthorizing water conservation programs with proven success keeps water flowing to millions of users and fulfills our promise to protect the lifeblood of our state."

"As record-breaking drought conditions worsen it is imperative that we use programs that are proven to support and conserve our critical water sources. The System Conservation Pilot Program increases drought preparedness for Coloradans and communities across the West, and I'm proud to join this legislation which would reauthorize the important program," said Rep. Neguse.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation concludedin the agency's 2021 report to Congress that the System Conservation Pilot Program has been successful. The report further noted that the program can serve as a platform for future collaboration on system conservation activities to help mitigate drought in the Colorado River Basin.