PRESS RELEASE: Dalessandro Appointed to Help Plan Long-Term Colorado River Management
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2021
PHOENIX — Leader Reginald Bolding has appointed Representative Andrea Dalessandro of Sahuarita to represent House Democrats on the Arizona Reconsultation Committee. Building on the success of the recent Drought Contingency Plan, Arizona has convened the Committee to develop Arizona's perspective to long-term management of the Colorado River. This Committee consists of delegates from the state legislature, federal, state, and local government, tribal nations, industry, agriculture, and NGOs. Dalessandro, who was nominated on March 19, will serve alongside Democratic Senator Lisa Otondo of Yuma, as well as Republican members Senator Sine Kerr and Representative Gail Griffin.
"My key issue will be conservation to assure residential water users that we will have an adequate long-term supply," Dalessandro said. "My first water harvesting system was a five-gallon bucket which I keep in my shower to use for potted plants and flushing. Since then I've gone on to lead the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators for four years and am still a member, I've spent years on our natural resources and water-related committees in the Senate and House and have attended water meetings as a constituent and policy maker for more than 15 years."
Dalessandro added, "As we continue to battle prolonged drought in our state, I am aware of the challenges to many Tribal areas and will set that as a priority. Also, I'm encouraged by past demonstrations by the Arizona agricultural community to embrace conservation and other best practices as the need for future cuts becomes evident."
"Representative Dalessandro's deep experience and lifelong commitment to conservation and environmental protection will be invaluable on this Committee, and to our state, as we grapple with the potential of shortage and the impacts of drought, overuse, and climate change on the Colorado River," Leader Bolding said.
The Colorado River provides water to more than 40 million people and more than four million acres of farmland in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Hydroelectric plants along the river produce nearly 13 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. Administration of this vital resource requires coordination amongst federal and state governments, tribal nations, NGOs, and municipal, business, and agricultural stakeholders. Current guidelines for long-term management of the Colorado River will expire in 2026 and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior is required to develop new guidelines before then. This process– referred to as reconsultation–will take years of discussion and coordination both within Arizona and among other Colorado River Basin states. Further complicating this process, drought, overuse, and climate change have made future shortages on the Colorado River a virtual certainty.
The next Committee meeting will be on Thursday, May 13, 2021, where the Modeling and Analysis Workgroup will meet. Prior meetings and materials are available here.