Metropolitan issues statement on release of draft SEIS for near-term Colorado River operations
April 11, 2023
Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the Bureau of Reclamation’s release today of a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for near-term operations of the Colorado River:
“The alternatives released today by Reclamation underscore the need for the Basin states to work together to develop collaborative solutions to protect the Colorado River and its infrastructure. Based on our initial assessment of the draft SEIS, neither of the action alternatives presented today is ideal. Both include significant supply cuts that would hurt Metropolitan and our partners across the Basin. There is a better way to manage the river."
“Working together, we must develop equitable, realistic solutions that reduce reliance on the river by increasing water efficiency across agricultural and urban communities, developing new alternative supplies, and reframing the way we manage water as a basin. Fortunately, this wet winter has provided us some space to develop those solutions."
“While this winter has provided a temporary lifeline, by no means can it lull us into complacency. Today’s release of the draft SEIS is a powerful indication of what could come if we don’t reach a consensus. We must keep working to develop a consensus short-term plan, while also collaborating to build long-term solutions that will ensure the river’s lasting sustainability."