Based on an article by Michael Cohen, Juliet Christian-Smith and John Berggren for the Pacific Institute.
This article says that “more than 90% of pasture and cropland in the 256,000-square-mile Colorado River Basin requires irrigation, with about 60% of the irrigated acreage devoted to pasture, alfalfa, and other forage crops used to feed cattle and horses. These forage crops consume about 5 million acre-feet per year, equivalent to a third of the river’s annual flow.” So you can tell that this way of agriculture is not sustainable at all. And thus far, no agreements have been made about a cap for water usage in the agricultural world that surrounds this basin. I can understand that farmers don’t like being told what to do, but without doing so there will be no future for their farming business.
As I’ve previously mentioned in other posts, the way we handle water is not sustainable at all. The amount of water taken out of the basin is larger than the amount that comes in, and with our eye on climate change this amount will only increase. That is until, one day, there is no water left. What then? I think the starting point is agriculture.