Comments on the Lake Powell Pipeline

The written version of remarks delivered by Eric Kuhn at the Aug. 25 Western Resource Advocates webinar on the Lake Powell Pipeline, featuring Eric, WRA’s Bart Miller, and Alice Walker, attorney for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. PRESENTATION COMMENTS ON THE LAKE POWELL PIPELINE ERIC KUHN 8/25/2020 When John Cyran asked me to participate …

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The roots of a coming Lake Powell Pipeline legal tangle

By Eric Kuhn As Utah pushes forward with its proposed Lake Powell Pipeline – an attempt move over 80,000 acre feet per year of its Upper Colorado River Basin allocation to communities in the Lower Basin – it is worth revisiting one of the critical legal milestones in the evolution of what we have come …

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2020 Is a Dry Year on the Colorado River. What Happens Next Year Will Be More Important

By Eric Kuhn This winter’s decent snowfall has turned into an abysmal runoff on the Colorado River, thanks to the dry soils heading into the winter, along with a warm spring. It’s alarming, but given the large amount of storage capacity in the basin and the recent string of good runoff years in the upper …

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How Dry was 2000-2018 on the Colorado Compared to “Normal”?

By Eric Kuhn The Colorado River’s natural flows are shrinking by 9% per degree C (1.8 F) of warming as climate change continues to sap the river’s flow, according to an important new study by Chris Milly and Krista Dunne of the US Geological Survey. Milly and Dunne also conclude that increasing precipitation is unlikely …

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Could water from retiring coal plants help solve the Upper Colorado River Basin’s “demand management” problem?

By Eric Kuhn As the states of the Upper Colorado River Basin work through how to build a “demand management” account in their reservoirs to protect against shortages, water from retiring coal plants could play a crucial role. With few alternatives for use of the water, simply banking it in Upper Basin reservoirs is an …

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Tribal Water and the Colorado River: thoughts on the recent CRWUA meeting

By Eric Kuhn One of the central themes of last week’s Colorado River Water Users Association annual meeting was the was the role of the basin’s Native American Tribes in the many decisions that will guide and manage water use on the Colorado River over the next several decades (for example, the post-2026 Guidelines). CRWUA …

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Floods on the Colorado: If It Has Happened in the Past, It Can Happen

By Eric Kuhn Last week I had the pleasure of exploring the banks the Colorado River near Moab, Utah with two of our most accomplished river scientists, Jack Schmidt (Utah State) and Vic Baker (U of Arizona), and hear a presentation by Dr. Baker on the science of studying past floods on the Colorado River …

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Delph Carpenter’s Preferred Compact

By Eric Kuhn Colorado attorney Delph Carpenter (1877-1951) is given credit as the driving force behind the 1922 Colorado River Compact, a much-deserved accolade. Had the compact negotiators actually listened to him, however, both basins would be better off today. Before the compact negotiators settled on the deal we are now trying to live with, …

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Cutting IID Out of the Lower Basin DCP Would Just Continue a Long Tradition in the Colorado River Basin

By Eric Kuhn If, as being widely reported, the Colorado River basin states (and the major water agencies that largely dictate what the states do) ultimately decide to proceed with a Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Contingency Plan that cuts out the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), no one should be surprised.  It’s simply continuing a …

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Why Does the Lower Basin Need a Drought Contingency Plan?

Editor’s note: This is the first post by Eric Kuhn, former general manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation district and the co-author, with Inkstain’s John Fleck, of the forthcoming book Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River, to be published this fall by the University of Arizona Press. By Eric …

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