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SALT LAKE CITY — Amy Haas has worked on Colorado River issues for most of her career.
But she’s quick to claim she’s not an expert. With rapidly changing conditions on the river due to drought, no one is, Haas says.
“One of the things I like about the river is that my learning curve is perpetually steep because there are always challenges, there are always one-offs, and there are situations that we are facing on this river that we need to adapt to. Currently, we are facing hydrology and low reservoir conditions the likes of which we have never seen,” Haas said.
As Utah continues growing and drought intensifies the desert’s water scarcity, lawmakers fear losing some of the state’s share of the river. Utah’s allocation is 1.725 million acre-feet of water or 23% of the water appropriated to the Upper Basin states that also include Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Utah now uses about 1 million acre-feet and plans to develop about 1.4 million acre-feet of water, according to the Division of Natural Resources.