Colorado River water cutbacks looking more favorable for Yuma

Restrictions in place are being eased on the Colorado River starting next year.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 3:02 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Federal restrictions are being eased on the Colorado River starting next year, partly due to a snow-packed winter.

Tom Davis with the Yuma County Water Users’ Associations said water levels have been looking great and are on the right path across the state, especially with the recent rainfall around Arizona. On Saturday, Yuma saw heavy rain that impacted water levels on the Colorado River. “As far as the Yuma valley goes, we had an inch — and an inch and a half in some places,” Davis said.

Yuma County had to warn people to stay out of the Colorado River until the water levels go back to normal. Davis said the rainfall came at the right time for local growers and that “we’re right at the beginning for planting for the produce season.”

Mild winters and plentiful sunshine make Yuma the winter vegetable capital of the world, producing 90% of the country’s leafy vegetables between November through March. Water cutbacks in Arizona are looking more favorable next year, thanks to increased water levels following a snow-packed winter. Water restrictions at Lake Mead and the Colorado River will be eased in January of next year.

“It bought us a lot of time — a couple of years, I think,” Davis said. “So hopefully, if we can have some more winters like that, maybe the tier reductions will go away.” Davis said it’s promising news. “There’s more water available for the Central Arizona Project and the cities they deliver water to,” Davis said.

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