Six Colorado River Basin States to Interior: Don’t Allow Utah to Blow up Basin Collaboration

The six Colorado River Basin states that do not have the letters “U-T-A-H” in their names just sent a remarkable letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt with a plea – don’t let the rush toward federal approval of Utah’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline blow up the Colorado River Basin’s framework of collaborative rather …

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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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Lower Basin use of main stem* Colorado River water dropping to levels not seen since the 1980s

A friend last week pointed out something remarkable. Arizona, California, and Nevada are forecast this year to use just 6.8 million acre feet of their 7.5 million acre foot allocation of water from the main stem of the Colorado River. And that’s not just a one-off. Under “Tier Zero” of the Colorado River Basin Drought …

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McCann: McSally’s bill to restart the Yuma Desalting Plant “nothing more than a PR stunt”

From the comments, but worth elevating to a post so folks it doesn’t get lost – Tom McCann on Arizona Sen. Martha McSally’s bill to restart the Yuma Desalting Plant: McSally’s bill is nothing more than a PR stunt–a way to appear to be doing something on the Colorado River without any risk of it …

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Congress and the Yuma Desalting Plant

It’s hard to know whether Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally’s “Water-Energy Technology Demonstration and Deployment Act” is a serious bill. Congress doesn’t do much of anything these days, so probably not. But, serious or not, it is a very bad idea masquerading as a good-sounding one. The good-sounding idea is the creation of a partnership …

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Why I hate “Drought Contingency Plan” (the name, not the plan)

“We really need to call [what we’re experiencing] aridification — the drying out of the Colorado River Basin because of climate change, we can’t just call it ‘drought’ anymore,” Fleck said. “It appears to be this permanent phenomenon that’s lowering the lake levels. You should not expect it to return to high lake levels over …

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Tradeoffs: Colorado River water, flowing down the Rio Grande

Faced with the challenge of teaching some or all of our coursework this fall on line, my University of New Mexico Water Resources Program colleagues and I have been having a think about what we’re trying to accomplish. A lot of the thinking revolves around translating our educational goals from face-to-face classroom discussion to the …

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March 1985: when everything on the Colorado River changed

Brett Walton had a great bit of business in yesterday’s Circle of Blue story on 2019’s remarkable drop in Colorado River Lower Basin water use: The last time water consumption from the river was that low was in 1986, the year after an enormous canal in Arizona opened that allowed the state to lay claim …

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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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Coping with Megadrought in the Colorado River Basin

My NIDIS webinar from earlier this week is posted. Key bits: This year’s “sneaky drought” is a problem. The longer term “megadrought” (climate change-driven aridification) we seem to be in is an even bigger problem. We’ve done some great work in the Colorado River Basin reducing our use of water and building the institutional widgets …

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