Arizona, Mexico Making Progress On New Colorado River Treaty

By Will Stone
Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 - 5:02pm
Updated: Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 11:05am
(KJZZ file photo)
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Arizona’s top water official says a new Colorado River agreement with Mexico could be close.
The bi-national negotiations are aimed at renewing an existing treaty called Minute 319, which is set to expire at the end of 2017. That outlines how the two countries divvy up the Colorado River and what happens in the case of a shortage. It also lets Mexico store water in Lake Mead and set aside some to revitalize dry portions of the river. Negotiators from both countries and Southwest states have been trying to get a deal done before the new Administration takes over.

Tom Buschatzke, head of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, said recently they’re making progress.

“We think there is a very good deal on the table, a lot of benefits for Arizona, a lot of benefits for Mexico, and we are working to finalize that as quickly as possible,” Buschatzke said.

Buschatzke said the treaty could include desalination projects for the two countries.


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