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City of Phoenix forgoes more water from Lake Mead in wake of declining levels

Lake Mead water
Posted at 10:40 AM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 07:13:35-04

PHOENIX — The City of Phoenix said Friday that it will forfeit delivery of an additional 14,000 acre-feet, or 4.5 billion gallons, of Colorado River water to shore up Lake Mead.

This will bring the total amount of water the city has left in Lake Mead so far this year to 30,000 acre-feet, or 9.7 billion gallons, which would have been stored underground for later use. Forgoing Lake Mead water will not result in any water cutbacks for Phoenix, the city said.

In exchange for leaving the additional water in the river's reservoir, which has reached 31% capacity this year and is projected to drop another 10 feet this summer, the city said it will receive about $7.8 million.

The money will go toward Phoenix's Water Revenue Fund to purchase water from other sources and fund conservation programs, the city said.

The city's efforts are part of the 500+ Plan, which has a goal of leaving 500,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead every year through 2026. One acre-foot is equivalent to nearly 326,000 gallons of water, or the amount used by an average of 3.5 Arizona households in a year.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.