Colo River Basin Drought - BOR Call for Action by States - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-13-2018   #1
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Posts: 3,776
Colo River Basin Drought - BOR Call for Action by States

For folks interested in big picture water resources issues, the BOR just issued a press release encouraging the Basin States to put their drought contingency plans in place before the end of this year. Current Colorado River Basin projections indicate the Basin could be in "shortage" by 2020.

"WASHINGTON - 2018 has brought record-low snowpack levels to many locations in the Colorado River Basin, making this the driest 19-year period on record. With the depressed snowpack and warming conditions, experts indicate that runoff from the Rocky Mountains into Lake Powell this spring will yield only 42 percent of the long-term average.

With drought and low runoff conditions dating back to 2000, this current period is one of the worst drought cycles over the past 1,200 plus years."

BOR Press Release: Another dry year in the Colorado River Basin increases the need for additional state and federal actions

Cliff Notes version of the issue:
Federal pressure to do a Colorado River water conservation deal

Denver Post Article (AP):
Mexico, 2 U.S. states could see Colorado River cutback in 2020


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 05-31-2018   #2
jxbennett's Avatar
Big Bend, Texas
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
There's a grim forecast for the Rio Grande as well.
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Old 05-31-2018   #3
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Haven't been around much recently but this issue is something that has been weighing heavy on my mind recently. I don't live in one of the states targeted by this news release but I am definitely in a region affected by these climate and hydrological issues. The county to the south of us is still trying to move forward with a Lake Powell Pipeline that my county opted out of. It wasn't an easy or simple choice for my county, who is facing the pressures of unconstrained growth yet finite resources, but I just don't see how we can put more water pressure on that basin with its existing demands.

Our county and town is working hard to recharge our aquifer, actually succeeded during good snow years, but the surging economy and related population growth here coupled with horrid snow year (worst in almost 40 years) is leaving many of us locals concerned. We just bought our first home so the issue of water usage is gaining our attention more than the past. We do our part to conserve but its hard to watch a community like ours not proactively enact measures to prevent what is likely an inevitable reality for most of us in the West, ie drastic changes to water availability and consumption.

For the first time in our lives we are considering water availability and consumption as primary reasons for choosing "where to live" in the future. We have a long while to play with the idea but I'm just not convinced many of the places I have called home in the last few decades have plans to provide water security that far into the future. Sadly that means be vulnerable to leaving the semi-arid intermountain west sometime in the not too distant future.
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