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Examining California’s Role in the Colorado River Water Conflict

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 (RJ Sangosti via Getty Images)

The Colorado River, which supplies water to much of the western United States, continues to diminish under historic drought conditions. And California is under pressure to reduce the amount of water it takes. The agricultural industry in California’s Imperial Valley alone gets more water than Arizona and Nevada combined – but that’s because under law, those farmers have some of the Colorado River’s oldest water rights. Citing those rights, California rejected a proposal last week from the six other Colorado River-dependent states on how to divide the water and instead put forward its own plan. We’ll take a closer look at the impasse and the impact of the shrinking Colorado River on the Imperial Valley and beyond.


Michael Cohen, senior researcher, Pacific Institute

Janet Wilson, senior environment reporter, The Desert Sun; Stanford Lane Center fellow

Tina Shields, water department manager, Imperial Irrigation District


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