Bureau of Reclamation Chief sees the lowest level in the over 100-year historical record for the Colorado River - Statement of Michael L. Connor, Commissioner. Bureau of Reclamation. U.S. Department of the Interior before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water and Power, U.S. Senate, July, 2013

July 16, 2013

Chairman Udall and members of the Subcommittee, I am Michael Connor, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) at the Department of the Interior (Department). Thank you for the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee today regarding the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (Study). The Colorado River Basin (Basin) is one of the most critical sources of water in the West. The River and its tributaries provide water to nearly 40 million people for municipal use, for irrigation of nearly 5.5 million acres of land, and also it represents the lifeblood for at least 22 federally recognized Indian tribes (tribes), seven National Wildlife Refuges, four National Recreation Areas, and 11 National Parks. Hydropower facilities along the Colorado River provide more than 4,200 megawatts of generating capacity, helping to meet the power needs of the West and offsetting the use of fossil fuels. The Colorado River is also a vital component in fulfilling Mexico’s agricultural and municipal water needs in Baja California and Sonora. Today, the Colorado River is facing a record drought.