Norton misfires |

Norton misfires


Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Colorado’s own, failed Tuesday to deliver a powerful message to the Arid West that when it comes to water supplies, we are in trouble.Norton had it within her power to curtail releases of Colorado River water from storage in Lake Powell to help the beleaguered reservoir replenish.Instead, she chose business as usual, with normal releases scheduled for the benefit of California, Arizona and Nevada. She also ordered another round of negotiation between these states and the Upper Basin states, including Colorado, to come up with a drought policy.The message to talk would have been more imperative if it had included an order to help Lake Powell. The larger message to the public would have been that water supplies as we know them cannot stand up to growth and drought. Lake Powell, in Southern Utah, is the Upper Basin’s savings account to make sure the Lower Basin states mentioned get their allotted share of river water, as spelled out in the 1922 Colorado River Compact.It releases water to Lake Mead near Las Vegas. Lake Mead stands at 64 percent full. What was Norton thinking?

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