Glendale, like every Arizona community, continues to wait on expected cuts to its water allocation from the Colorado River Basin. Historically-low levels in both Lake Mead and Lake Powell all but guarantee more cuts are coming.
When the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which has a federal office in Glendale at 6150 W. Thunderbird Road, in late August issued its 24-month study for the Upper Colorado and Lower Colorado Basin reservoir operations, it expected the affected states to reach a voluntary agreement on how to reduce water use by 2 million to 4 million acre-feet — up to a third of the Colorado River’s annual average flow.
Reclamation officials have not said when they might impose their own cuts if no deal is reached.
“Since they really haven’t done anything we’re all still waiting. Because (the cuts) would definitely help the conditions in Lake Mead and Lake Powell,” Glendale’s Water Resources Program Manager Drew Swieczkowski said Monday.
Waiting to see how their regions will be impacted, communities, potentially including Glendale, are considering not contributing water to the voluntary system conservation program for Lake Mead in favor of keeping that water stored locally. In August the Gila River Indian Community said instead of giving conservation water to Lake Mead it will store it for its own use under local control.
Swieczkowski notes that Glendale gave about 350 acre feet of water to the voluntary “500 plus” program that Lower Basin agencies developed in 2021 to leave 500,000 acre-feet a year in Lake Mead.