One good year of snowpack won't reduce long-term risks on the river.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has given governors or their representatives in the seven states until March 19 to recommend the next steps after California and Arizona failed to meet its deadlines.
Seven states have been working for years on drought contingency plans. Arizona and California have missed two deadlines.
The Imperial Irrigation District is the largest single recipient of Colorado River water, with 3.1 million-acre feet of California’s 4.4 million-acre entitlement under legal compacts stretching back nearly a century.
The drought plan requires Arizona to find a way to reduce its use of Colorado River water by up to 700,000 acre-feet — more than twice Nevada's yearly allocation under the drought plan.
The other six states in the Colorado River basin have agreed to plans that recognize a long-running drought, the dwindling supply of water and how they intend to cope with it.
Since the first locomotive steamed through the canyon, the train has been the best way to see the vistas — mostly because someone else is driving.
Cloud seeding technology remains tricky and expensive, but has become more vital as the effects of climate change ramp up.
Revving up the legal gears could pose a setback for Denver Water, which has spent years securing the necessary permits.