When a water supply problem becomes an air quality problem

Matt Weiser (Water Deeply) has a nice interview with Mike Cohen (Pacific Institute) about one of the most interesting policy conundrums in Colorado River Basin water governance – the question of the Salton Sea. Here’s the sequence. California needs to figure out how to use less Colorado River water. Since the biggest chunk of the …

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US drought migration patterns are not what I expected

We also note that migrants are very strongly attracted to areas experiencing drought. Drought are associated with low precipitation and higher-than-average temperatures, two amenities that attract residents (even if they may be detrimental for local agriculture). That is from The Effect of Natural Disasters on Economic Activity in US Counties: A Century of Data, an NBER paper …

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Colorado River reservoirs rising

According to the latest Bureau of Reclamation runoff and reservoir storage forecast (the “24-month study”, pdf here), combined storage in the two largest Colorado River reservoirs, Mead and Powell, will end this water year up 3.4 million acre feet from last year. Mead is forecast to end the year up more than five feet in …

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information control and the priesthood of water

The “nilometer” was the device used in ancient Egypt to measure water levels in the Nile: Only priests and rulers, whether pharaohs or later, Roman or Arab leaders, were allowed to monitor the nilometers, and their ability to predict the behavior of the Nile was used to impress the common people. (And to determine how …

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Using less water on the Lower Colorado River

At the end of April, Lake Mead sat at 1,085 feet above sea level, more than eight feet higher than it was a year ago. That is in part thanks to a big winter upstream, which has ensured continued above-average releases from Lake Powell upstream. But equally important is the fact that folks in the …

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