The feds want western states to cut Colorado River use.

The supply isn't keeping up with demand. Did you know that besides Colorado, that Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California and the country of Mexico all lay claim to portions of the Colorado River’s flow? The river is a lifeline for roughly 40 million people and irrigates about 1.7 million acres of farmland.

The feds are sounding the alarm. They claim the Colorado River is so strained that water managers may declare a "shortage" and cut releases from reservoirs. The US Bureau of Reclamation Colorado River forecast says that in just over a year, reduced water releases from the reservoirs in the"lower basin" states, including Nevada and Arizona, will be enacted.

Colorado would be impacted too. "Upper basin" states including Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico would also face increased scrutiny of flows from the headwaters. The reservoirs are in trouble. This week, Lake Powell measured only 49% full and Lake Mead was at a meager 38% of normal.

Credit: Vail Daily