The “anticommons” revisited: that time Phoenix tried to leave more water in Lake Mead

Ry Rivard, a reporter for Voice of San Diego who is part of the Colorado River journalism posse, had the most tweetable summary of the dustup within Arizona and among the seven Colorado River basin states:   Arizona has two internal factions. One of them wanted to work with other states to save water. The …

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Denver Water accuses Central Arizona Project of manipulating water orders to take more water from Lake Mead

Denver Water today joined state leaders in the Upper Colorado River Basin with a letter accusing the managers of the Central Arizona Project of manipulating water orders to get more water out of the Upper Basin’s reservoir at Lake Powell. The actions of the CAP’s managers “several compromise the trust and cooperation” needed to solve …

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Colorado River Upper Basin states accuse Central Arizona Project managers of threatening the health of the Colorado River system

Upper Colorado River Basin state leaders, in a letter Friday (April 13, 2018), said the water management approach being taken by the managers of the Central Arizona Project “threaten the water supply for nearly 40 million people in the United States and Mexico, and threaten the interstate relationships and good will that must be maintained …

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Is the Central Arizona Project gaming reservoir levels to take more water from the Upper Basin?

This Central Arizona Project infographic has been a bit of a “WTF” moment in the Colorado River Basin management community: Kudos to whoever designed this. I’ve struggled to find ways to explain this. First posted to the Internet, then apparently taken down, it’s a solid explanation of the tricky way the Central Arizona Project has …

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Some thoughts on “the West’s Disappearing Water”

We lost the daily direct flights between Albuquerque and Tucson a decade ago when the economy tanked, which left me in a shuttle yesterday morning at sunup driving north on I-10 from Tucson to Phoenix to catch a flight home after a couple of very intense, very productive days discussing water.* It’s a beautiful stretch …

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Hey Tucson, I’ll be yammering at the University of Arizona Thursday

Thursday at 4: With another dry year setting in across the West, the challenges of meeting the water supply needs of a growing population while maintaining our rural communities and a healthy environment are again being thrown in sharp relief. The continuing decline of Lake Mead has become a symbol of deepening problems, but there are also …

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#tbt to that time New Mexico tried to demand a Gila River Compact

For today’s #tbt (Throwback Thursday), a return to the remarkable era of Steve Reynolds in New Mexico water management, and that time Reynolds tried to give New Mexico an effective veto over the Central Arizona Project. Students in this year’s UNM Water Resources Program spring class are doing a case study this year on New …

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Overcoming “use it or lose it” on the Colorado – an example

Yesterday I pointed out how much water is being stashed in Lake Mead as an example of how folks on the Colorado River are overcoming the old “use it or lose it” problem in western water. Here’s another example, this time with water taken off of the river and stored underground, in this case excess water …

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Looking for flexibility within Arizona

Arizona’s current internal political struggles over allocation and management of shortage on the Colorado River illustrate a central dilemma in the basin’s transition from the era of managing development of the river’s water to the era of managing scarcity. While we generally have demonstrated the ability to use less water across a range of water …

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Arizona misters and the value of water

When we think today about Arizona’s water problems, we imagine large lawns in sprawling suburbs in and around Phoenix, golf courses, and “misters”—those devices that fritter away water into the hot desert air to cool the customers eating at outdoor restaurants in the Valley of the Sun. Me, in Water is For Fighting Over Lissa …

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