The Great Basin Water Network and Living Rivers-Colorado Riverkeeper released the following statements after the Bureau of Reclamation released a revised SEIS for short-term management at Lakes Powell and Mead.
The document comes at a time when the nation has the opportunity to transcend outdated reservoir management, but a wet winter, politics, and arrogance about the future make meaningful change hard to fathom.
“The revised SEIS is a pat on the back more than a hard-look at a beleaguered river system,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network. The bloated credit system (ICS), congressional funding, and a generous 2023 water year from mother nature must not obscure the fact that the Colorado River is in crisis. The brink will be back, and I fear that hoopla surrounding this document will distract from the challenges that lie ahead.”
“Reclamation might have modeling that shows all is well for the next few years and the states are touting their reduced use, but the good 2023 water year and the deluge of money belie the mere fact that the Colorado River will look much different 30 years from now than it does today,” said John Weisheit, conservation director for Living Rivers-Colorado Riverkeeper. “Let’s not lose sight of what we have already lost and what we will continue to lose. Despite the bolstered reservoir levels, we’ve already lost 16 percent of what 2023 gave us. Let that be a warning.”