The folks working on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study last week published a striking new graph (figure 2 in this pdf) pointing out our dilemma:
It’s an attempt to splice together the latest version of the Bureau’s now-ubiquitous graph of historical supply and demand with the latest projections from the agency’s ongoing Supply and Demand Study. The crisp-looking bits to the left of the dotted line are what we know has already happened. Note the supply and demand curves converging in the late ’90s as Arizona finally starts using its share of Colorado River water. The fuzzy bits to the right of the dotted line, as the curves diverge, are the sternly caveated projections starting to squeeze out of the Supply and Demand Study.
- Demand: 17 million acre feet by 2035, 18 million acre feet by 2060
- Supply: 15 million acre feet by 2035, 14.4 million acre feet by 2060
You’ll note that the demand numbers are larger than the supply numbers. If you have any suggestions re fixing this, the Bureau would like to hear from you.