Litigation to settle our Colorado River disagreements is a terrible idea

Preparing for a panel I’ll be moderating at next week’s Colorado River Water Users Association meeting on the next steps in negotiating river management rules, I went back to a similar panel held last summer at the University of Colorado’s Getches-Wilkinson Center. (the session starts at around 3:23:00 here) John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada …

Continue reading ‘Litigation to settle our Colorado River disagreements is a terrible idea’ »

California’s use of Colorado River water this year on track to be the lowest since at least 1950

California’s use of Colorado River water this year is on track to be the lowest since at least 1949. (the latest forecast numbers are here) My data on the early years is sketchy, but thanks to the folks at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, who recently shared an excellent dataset they assembled some …

Continue reading ‘California’s use of Colorado River water this year on track to be the lowest since at least 1950’ »

Kuhn-Fleck webinar Jan. 22 to talk “Science be Dammed”

Eric and I will be doing a Webinar Jan. 22, sponsored by the American Water Resources Association: In their new book Science Be Dammed, Eric Kuhn and John Fleck explain how even when clear evidence was available that the Colorado River could not sustain ambitious dreaming and planning, river planners and political operatives irresponsibly made …

Continue reading ‘Kuhn-Fleck webinar Jan. 22 to talk “Science be Dammed”’ »

If trends continue, Phoenix is on a path to groundwater “safe yield”, according to new research

If past trends in greater Phoenix – agricultural land transitioning to urban – the area is on track to groundwater “safe yield”, according to new research by an Arizona State University team: Under (business as usual) conditions where population is expected to increase and agricultural activities to gradually decrease, our results indicate a reduction in …

Continue reading ‘If trends continue, Phoenix is on a path to groundwater “safe yield”, according to new research’ »

Imperial Irrigation District’s line in the Salton Sea sand

The Imperial Irrigation District board will take up a resolution this afternoon drawing a sharp line. If action isn’t taken to deal with the Salton Sea, the historic early-2000s deal that attempted to untangle California’s Colorado River overallocation (the “Quantification Settlement Agreement” or QSA) “will have been breached”: The full text of the resolution and …

Continue reading ‘Imperial Irrigation District’s line in the Salton Sea sand’ »

New paper with Anne Castle on Risk of Colorado River curtailments in Colorado, Upper Basin

The framing questions I’ve used for my work on water over the last decade go something like this: When the water runs short, who doesn’t get theirs? What does that look like? Those are the motivating questions behind a new paper Anne Castle and I have written. We’ve also added an increasingly important third question: …

Continue reading ‘New paper with Anne Castle on Risk of Colorado River curtailments in Colorado, Upper Basin’ »

Screamin’ deal on that other book I wrote

My friends at Island Press (an amazing outfit, so grateful to have had the chance to work with them) are offering all their titles, including Water is For Fighting Over, for 50 percent off right now. You of course already have your copy, but it’s a perfect holiday gift for that water nerd on your …

Continue reading ‘Screamin’ deal on that other book I wrote’ »

How much might Utah’s Lake Powell pipeline cost?

My Colorado River policy attention time is a finite resource, and I admit I’ve not paid terribly close attention to Utah’s Lake Powell Pipeline proposal. My reasoning has been that it’s likely so expensive relative to the water it would provide that, with the end of big federal subsidies, Utah’s eventually going to wake up …

Continue reading ‘How much might Utah’s Lake Powell pipeline cost?’ »