Lessons from the Colorado River: Climate, Land, and Drought (A 75th Anniversary Lincoln Institute Dialogue)
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The Colorado River in the western United States illustrates how climate change, land use, and water policy drive access to one of the most basic human needs—fresh water. On August 16th, the U.S. Secretary of Interior for the first time declared a water shortage for the Colorado River, which provides water to more than forty million people and over four million acres of agriculture in seven U.S. states and northern Mexico. The declaration triggers mandatory cuts for withdrawals from the river. U.S. Interior Secretary and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and former U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman joined us for a discussion about the future of this critical river. Moderated by Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy Director Jim Holway, this 75th Anniversary Lincoln Institute Dialogue covers Colorado River conditions; current and emerging policy challenges; lessons on international and interstate river management; and how local governments, water utilities, land managers, and Native American nations can promote water sustainability.
Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Interior Secretary and Arizona Governor
Brenda Burman, Central Arizona Project Executive Strategy Advisor and former U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner
Jim Holway, Director, Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Photo by Sean Pavone/iStock via Getty Images