A Colorado River Shortage Declaration: Planning, Responses, and Consequences

Project Dates

In response to prolonged drought conditions and declining storage capacity in Lake Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation called upon Colorado Basin States to develop new drought contingency plans to limit the draw-down of Lake Mead. Arizona’s Drought Contingency Plan calls for significant reductions in surface water supplies delivered to irrigated agriculture in Pinal County. This project considers the effects of these reduced water supplies on: crop production in Pinal county; Arizona dairy production and non-agricultural sectors in the Pinal County economy; and recreational demand around Lakes Mead and Powell. These surface water reductions may reduce the sustainability of agricultural production in Central Arizona.