WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers in Washington are trying to help the western United States deal with the dangerously low Colorado River levels that threaten power production and food supply.
The 20-year-long drought in the western U.S. is the worst in 1,200 years.
Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) explained that “they say in the west that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”
That fight is happening now as low water levels threaten water allotments for states in the Colorado River Basin along with power production and the nation’s food supply.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan says there is $4 billion in funding in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act to help with this problem, including “resources to state and local governments so they can begin to look at these drought-like conditions at a community scale.”
Congresswoman Titus explained these resources “will help with conservation and will make our water systems more efficient.”
Additionally, Titus says the projects should help the critically low water levels in Lake Mead inch up.
“A joint project between California and Las Vegas that will take advantage of recycling water,” he stated.
However, these projects alone will not be enough. Lawmakers say ultimately, states and individuals will need to pitch in.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, “trying to convince people not use the amount of water they’ve been using in order to have the amount of water that’s going to be needed for survival.”
Lawmakers say some solutions include using drip irrigation for crops, eliminating green-grass lawns in favor of desert landscaping and requiring water-efficient plumbing and fixtures in new homes.