In Arizona, talk of water supply augmentation

There’s a long and important history behind Arizona’s enthusiasm for water supply augmentation. The short arm-wave version is Arizona’s belief that part of the Central Arizona Project’s grand bargain was that the Superhot State would accept a junior priority for its CAP water in return for a commitment to water supply augmentation at some unspecified …

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Contingency planning in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Water managers in the Upper Colorado River Basin are beginning to roll out details of their contingency planning aimed at preventing Lake Powell from dropping to troublingly low levels. Among the key steps being discussed, according to a presentation Monday by New Mexico’s Kevin Flanagan to his state’s Interstate Stream Commission (more over on my …

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A mediocre Colorado River Basin forecast

The Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal outlook, published this morning, is another “meh” for the Colorado River Basin. The good news is that odds favor wet for the southerly part of the basin, especially Arizona and New Mexico. The “meh” part is that the low country doesn’t contribute much of the river’s overall supply. Most of …

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Colorado River problems are a threat to beer

Colorado River, Water Source For Craft Beer, Drying Up: Some of the best craft beer in the US is produced in the West, in places like Colorado and California. And the craft beer culture in that part of the country is also strong. Many craft brewers, such as Stone Brewing, obtain all of their brewing …

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Plan for a bad news future on the Colorado, or embrace uncertainty?

In Colorado River Basin planning, there is a common mistake growing out the the Bureau of Reclamation’s Basin Study. It is made by seizing on the study’s finding regarding the impact of climate change (as exemplified by the results of General Circulation Models, or GCM’s) on the river, quoted here from the executive summary (pdf), …

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Compromise on the Colorado

Assistant Secretary of the Interior Anne Castle, speaking late last month in Las Vegas: With the crucial Lake Mead reservoir at 38 percent capacity and the Southwest in the grip of the driest 15-year period in more than a century, Castle said it will take multiple, incremental agreements to balance the water rights of cities, …

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“Sharing Water: What an Environmental Experiment in Mexico can Teach us About the Future of the Colorado River”

I’m excited to be giving a talk on the Colorado River Delta environmental pulse flow Sept. 8 at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by, say “hi”, and, if possible, ask questions when I explain things poorly. The talk is a snapshot of a work in progress, so no …

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Testing Hoover Dam’s outflow jets

The San Diego Air And Space Museum posted some wonderful old aerial pictures of Hoover Dam on Flickr, and I’m hoping someone in the Inkstain posse can help me sort out the history. This image was taken by┬áColonel Orie W. Coyle, and appears to be a test of Hoover Dam’s outlet jets that I’m thinking …

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Questions about the Gila Diversion

In the Colorado River Basin writ large, 14,000 acre feet of water is a very small rounding error – less than one tenth of one percent of the river’s flow. But the New Mexico discussion over the possibility of a diversion high in the watershed of the Gila River in New Mexico, raises fascinating questions …

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