Exaggerated Impacts of Unrealistic Water Shortages

A guest post of sorts* from a group of prominent economists here in the western United States questioning the findings in a widely quoted report (pdf here) by a group from Arizona State about the potential economic impact if the Colorado River went dry: *********** A January 14th article in the Wall Street Journal reported …

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Rhees to head USBR Upper Colorado office

The Bureau of Reclamation today named Brent Rhees to head its Salt Lake City-based Upper Colorado office: As deputy regional director, Rhees managed several complex and high profile issues, including the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, dam safety modifications, implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, the Colorado River Salinity Control Program and …

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The Colorado – as human construct, and face to flow

Water journalist Brett Walton wrote a lovely piece about finally meeting the Colorado River for the first time: I have reported on the Colorado River for five years. I know it as a legal argument, as a topographic feature, as an obstacle, and as a matrix of charts, calculations, and grim projections. I’ve read its …

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Good news and bad news for Lake Mead

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s monthly report forecasting Colorado River Basin reservoir operations for the next 24 months (pdf) came out today, and it had some good news and some bad news for people in the Lower Colorado River Basin worried about dropping levels in Lake Mead. Mead ended February at a surface elevation of …

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Rethinking a pipeline to the Missouri

I’ve long dismissed the “pipeline to the Missouri River” (PTM? “canal from the Missouri”? CFM?) and other similar large-scale water importation schemes as vastly impractical distractions from serious water policy (see for example here and here). The argument, which I get regularly from well-meaning readers, points to the big network of oil and gas pipelines spidering across …

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“intentionally created unused apportionment”: gobbledygook for the greater good

There’s a particularly important passage in Matt Jenkins’ new piece on former Las Vegas water manager Pat Mulroy’s leadership on Colorado Basin issues (behind paywall for now, subscribe!) where he describes an example of a convoluted deal to bank Nevada water in an Arizona aquifer: It was … the first federally sanctioned deal for a …

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