“Seeking to stretch their allotments of the river,” an article by Jim Wilson in The New York Times reads, “regional water agencies are recycling sewage effluent, offering rebates to tear up grass lawns and subsidizing less thirsty appliances from dishwashers to showerheads.”

Unfortunately, the prospects of the situation improving is slim, as “many experts believe the current drought is only the harbinger of a new, drier era in which the Colorado’s flow will be substantially and permanently diminished.”

Though some areas in the region have already implemented conservation measures, some say they aren't enough.

Farmers in Arizona reduce runoff by using laser technology to ensure fields are table flat; Southern California recycles “sewage effluent, giving away high-efficiency water nozzles and subsidizing items like artificial turf and zero-water urinals,” the article reads; and Nevada treats used water before returning it to Lake Mead.

“Moreover, an intensive conservation program slashed the region’s water consumption from 2002 to 2012, even as the area added 400,000 residents.”


Drought problems persist, however, leaving farmers in a predicament since they and many others in the region rely on the Colorado River and its many tributaries and manmade lakes to nourish their crops, among other things. The answers aren’t easy to come by, say those who work closely with the issue.  

For starters, navigating the many rules associated with use of the river that seven states share. While some states have made huge strides in conserving water, creating a plan that unites all of the states in the common goal is another matter.

Still, federal officials say there’s room for even more stringent conservation efforts. The locals seem to agree, but developing a united plan could take years or, according to the newspaper, “even decades.”  FG

—Summarized by FG staff from cited source