Sure, dead bodies in Lake Mead, whatever. I remain optimistic.

It has become a Frequently Asked Question of late here at Inkstain World Headquarters: John, you’ve frequently been quoted in the past expressing optimism about the future of the Colorado River Basin. Dude, Lake Mead is so low they’re finding dead bodies. Are you still optimistic? My answer, of course, is “yes”. It’s in my …

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Crisis Managemnent on the Colorado River

Important observation from Jack Schmidt, Utah State Colorado River guy, on the new constraints on Colorado River management as Lake Powell and Lake Mead drop: “We’re in crisis management, and health and human safety issues, including production of hydropower, are taking precedence,” said Jack Schmidt, director of the center for Colorado River Studies at Utah …

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Pitt on “Day Zero”

Audubon’s Jennifer Pitt, one of the most stubbornly optimistic actors in the Colorado River Basin, wrote this Friday: [F]ederal officials project that within two years, the water level in Lake Powell could be so low that it would be impossible for water to flow through the dam’s turbine intakes. When that happens, it’s clear the …

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“unless extraordinary circumstances arise” – tweaking Colorado River Basin rules

Watching the back-and-forth among the U.S. Department of Interior and the seven Colorado River Basin States over Glen Canyon Dam operations over the last few months, I’d been thinking that we’ve dropped into an area where the rules developed in 2007, and tweaked in the years since, no longer apply. In short, if we use …

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Time to rethink the Upper Basin’s “Bonus Water” contributions to Lake Mead?

By Eric Kuhn For years, the Colorado River management community has ignored, or at the very least sidestepped, a problem that has effectively sent more Upper Basin water downstream to help fill Lake Mead. But with the reservoir system operating on razor-thin margins, this “bonus water” – seeping through the sandstone cliffs of Glen Canyon, …

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Carpenter’s Last Stand for Complete State Sovereignty – 100 Years Ago at the Compact Negotiations

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck On Saturday, April 1st, 1922, at 9:00 AM in Denver’s iconic Brown Palace Hotel, Chairman Herbert Hoover opened the 9th meeting of the Colorado River Commission. The official meeting lasted only 30 minutes. The commission took only one action of consequence. It asked its members to submit to Executive …

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Brad Udall on the Drying of the Colorado River Basin

The only lever we currently control is the demand lever. – Brad Udall, Stegner Colorado River Symposium, March 18, 2022 Colorado State University climate researcher Brad Udall poked again last week at a question he’s been thinking and speaking about for the past year – the knock-on effects of summer warming in the Colorado River …

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Colorado River Compact at 100; Lake Powell at 3,524.42

The most interesting news at this week’s University of Utah Stegner Symposium on the Colorado River Compact, past and future may be the news that we didn’t hear. It was an amazing gathering, bringing together pointy headed academics like me with most of the basin management leadership team from tribes, state and local agencies, and …

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