Taking climate change seriously: the Colorado River “stress test”

  The Bureau of Reclamation Colorado River team did something remarkable in yesterday’s release of its new 5-year reservoir levels analysis – the “stress test”, a methodology pioneered a decade ago by an Upper Colorado River Basin technical team that included John Carron of Hydros and Eric Kuhn and Dave Kanzer of the Colorado River …

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Dry in all my river basins

Getting ready for class class discussion this afternoon about “drought” (“I get to see my students in person!” he exclaimed nervously.), I had occasion to check the latest Climate Prediction Center long lead forecast. It’s a few weeks old, but I don’t expect it’ll have changed much. The brownest blob captures both river basins I …

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On the importance of gathering stones

I had the joy of sharing a goofy group text thread yesterday evening with a couple of friends exchanging pictures of the round rocks we each collected yesterday morning on a field trip to see the plumbing of the San Juan-Chama Project, which diverts Colorado River Basin water beneath the continental divide to bring drinking …

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Tradeoffs

This morning’s operations missive from the federal-state-local Middle Rio Grande operations group (by “Middle” here we mean central New Mexico) notes a release of ~100 cubic feet per second of imported San Juan-Chama Project water for environmental flows, an effort to help the struggling Rio Grande silvery minnow. SJC water is removed from the Colorado …

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Brad Udall on Upper Colorado River Basin climate change risk

Colorado State University’s Brad Udall has been doing some really interesting thinking about how to conceptualize and communicate climate change risk to water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. Shown above (and shared with permission) is one of Brad’s “selected averages” graphs. The horizontal lines show the average river flow value for a period of …

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How to Keep Cool

Other suggestions include keeping sleigh bells around to jingle when looking at thermometer. This was apparently before the widespread use of refrigerated air. h/t Yesterday’s Print and my precious university library privileges.

Now out in paperback (and perhaps timely given the chaos?): Science Be Dammed – How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River

Our friends at the University of Arizona Press have kindly printed a bunch of new copies of our book Science Be Dammed, this time in paperback so it’s cheaper! Eric and I did a fun Q&A with Abby Mogollon at the press to accompany this second launch: Q: Why did you embark on this project? …

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Why don’t they redo the Colorado River Compact?

My co-instructor Bob Berrens and I added a slide this morning to our welcome lecture for first-year students in the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, hoping to foreshadow two questions we’ll be asking the students over and over and over and over this semester: Bob: That sounds great, how are you going to …

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