Water rights

Lake Mead water levels behind the Hoover Dam in July 2022 show the effect of long-term drought on water levels there.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation this week announced a new water rationing agreement that will have far-reaching implications throughout the Southwest, including the White Mountains.

Arizona, Nevada and California have agreed to cut their Colorado River water use by about 3 million acre-feet in the next three years, in return for federal payments amounting to $1.2 billion. This money will mostly help pay farmers who agree to not use the water to which they’re normally entitled.

Peter Aleshire covers county government and other topics for the Independent. He is the former editor of the Payson Roundup. Reach him at paleshire@payson.com

Peter Aleshire,Consulting publications editor

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