From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”

When I was wrestling six years ago with a path through what became my book Water Is For Fighting Over, I collected material about what I came to call “the great mistake” – the overallocation of the Colorado River’s water. One of my favorite stories surrounded William Sibert: It is quite probable that the compact …

Continue reading ‘From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”’ »

More Colorado River “grand bargain” buzz

There was more buzz this week at two big Colorado River Basin events about the idea of a “grand bargain” to deal with coming collisions between water overallocation and the Law of the River. The idea crept into the title of the Water Education Foundation’s 2019 Santa Fe Symposium – “Can We Build a Bridge …

Continue reading ‘More Colorado River “grand bargain” buzz’ »

“I speak in numbers.”- Eric Kuhn

I’m having a bad FOMO day today, watching John Orr’s Twitter feed from the Colorado River District’s fall seminar, being held today in Grand Junction: @R_EricKuhn : I speak in numbers. Let’s look at the hydrology of rivers. The history is quite important. I worked on the book with @jfleck. #crdas2019 #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification pic.twitter.com/A0IIKjq66A …

Continue reading ‘“I speak in numbers.”- Eric Kuhn’ »

All I Want is an Accurate Colorado River Map

  A guest post by Doug Kenney, University of Colorado In recent months, we’ve probably all encountered a dozen or more articles reflecting on the 150-year anniversary of the Colorado River voyage of John Wesley Powell.  It’s a story coming from the tail end of an era when map-makers used to be among the most …

Continue reading ‘All I Want is an Accurate Colorado River Map’ »

Las Vegas Bay: a path into the story of the Colorado River

I’m talking with University of New Mexico Water Resources Program students about the Colorado River this week, and pulling together some readings I had occasion to revisit the opening of The New Book: The boat ramp at Las Vegas Bay, once a shimmering recreation mecca on the shores of Lake Mead, now ends in a …

Continue reading ‘Las Vegas Bay: a path into the story of the Colorado River’ »

More talk of a Colorado River climate change “grand bargain”

The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley took a deep dive in today’s paper into the idea of a Colorado River “grand bargain” that might trade off the Lower Basin’s right to make a “call” on the river if flows at Lee’s Ferry drop against an Upper Basin cap on future development: The grand bargain concept arose …

Continue reading ‘More talk of a Colorado River climate change “grand bargain”’ »

Colorado River water reduction rules: not quite voluntary, not quite mandatory – “vandatory”!

After Friday’s blog post and some intemperate tweeting about whether the Colorado River Drought Contingency plan cuts about to go into effect were voluntary or mandatory, a friend involved in the negotiations explained that they actually came up with a word for this: “vandatory”. The idea was that everything they all agreed to in DCP …

Continue reading ‘Colorado River water reduction rules: not quite voluntary, not quite mandatory – “vandatory”!’ »

A decent (not great, but decent) water year on the Colorado was not enough to stave off mandatory cuts

Walking across the University of New Mexico campus yesterday afternoon on my way to orientation for our incoming UNM Water Resources Program students, at precisely 3:10 pm MDT, a friend sent me a historic text message: “1089.4”. Translated from the native language of the Colorado River Water Nerd, “1089.4” means “The surface of Lake Mead …

Continue reading ‘A decent (not great, but decent) water year on the Colorado was not enough to stave off mandatory cuts’ »

Floods on the Colorado: If It Has Happened in the Past, It Can Happen

By Eric Kuhn Last week I had the pleasure of exploring the banks the Colorado River near Moab, Utah with two of our most accomplished river scientists, Jack Schmidt (Utah State) and Vic Baker (U of Arizona), and hear a presentation by Dr. Baker on the science of studying past floods on the Colorado River …

Continue reading ‘Floods on the Colorado: If It Has Happened in the Past, It Can Happen’ »

The Salton Sea: “treat it as a real place that impacts real people’s lives”

Imperial Valley resident (and Imperial Irrigation District board member) Jim Hanks: The Salton Sea is a real place to me and I have always seen it as a lake, because that’s what it is. I also see it as hydrologically, geographically and morally connected to the Colorado River, and I appreciate the effort to place …

Continue reading ‘The Salton Sea: “treat it as a real place that impacts real people’s lives”’ »