Western senators look to extend Colorado River program

By Jennifer Yachnin | 06/20/2024 06:27 AM EDT

The bipartisan group is supporting a program created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

A boat navigates waters at sunset.

A boat navigates Colorado River waters at sunset near the exposed upstream face of the Hoover Dam and the "bathtub ring," a white band of mineral deposits showing previous water levels of Lake Mead on June 28, 2022, in Boulder City, Nevada. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

A bipartisan group of Western senators wants to extend a major water conservation program in the Upper Colorado River Basin as the region determines how to best use its shrinking water supplies.

Colorado Democratic Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, Wyoming Republican Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R) on Tuesday introduced the “Colorado River Basin System Conservation Extension Act.”

The bill would allow the Colorado River System Conservation Pilot Program to remain going through 2026, two years beyond its current expiration date.


The $125 million program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, aims to reduce water use in the Upper Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming