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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who’s in charge of Arizona’s Colorado River water?

The feud within Arizona over who’s in charge of the state’s Colorado River water – the state Department of Water Resources or the Central Arizona Water Conservation District – escalated this week. This is from an April 25 “cease and desist” letter (obtained by me through a state public records act request) from the Arizona …

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declining Lower Colorado River Basin water use

Amid the Colorado River water management attention last week rightly focused on the fact that a wet winter in the Upper Basin means a big release this year from Lake Powell to help refill Lake Mead, I missed another bit of business that may be even more important. The Bureau of Reclamation’s planning model is …

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A nice storage bump for Colorado River reservoirs, but they’re still pretty empty

Talking this week to members of the Colorado River water governance brain trust at the Family Farm Alliance‘s annual gathering in Las Vegas, there was a weird vibe about the big snowpack building in the Rockies. My quick take based on the February USBR modeling plus the latest forecast info from the CBRFC Lake Powell …

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Working landscapes

PHOENIX – Drive south on Interstate 10 out of the Phoenix metro area, past Ikea, and the city ends abruptly, a sharp line between development and desert. Given its reputation for sprawl, Phoenix (when I say “Phoenix” here I’m talking about the whole metro area, not just the city itself) is remarkably compact. The realities …

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How Arizona plans to help reduce the pressure on Lake Mead

With the Colorado River water management community converging on Las Vegas this week, we are likely to learn more about whether or when we’ll see a deal on the long-awaited “Drought Contingency Plan” to reduce Lower Basin use of water from Lake Mead. Under the DCP, which has been in nearly final form for the …

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On the brink of a major deal to reduce Colorado River water use

A sweeping deal to reduce Lower Colorado River Basin water use will get its most detailed public airing to date at tomorrow’s (Nov. 7, 2016) meeting of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee. If the deal goes through – and there are hurdles yet to clear – Arizona, California, …

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