Palo Verde Irrigation District sues Metropolitan Water District over Colorado River water

One of California’s largest Colorado River farm water districts is suing the state’s largest municipal water agency, charging that efforts to move farm water to cities are threatening the viability of agriculture in one of the oldest farming valleys on the river. The Palo Verde Irrigation District, in a suit filed last month in Riverside …

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On the Colorado, the lowest water use in 25 years

Yes, a good snowpack helped us this year in the Colorado River. But the numbers are clear – reductions in water use made a far larger contribution to the good news on the river this year. This week’s official Bureau of Reclamation declaration that we won’t have a 2018 Colorado River shortage got a lot …

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That time we built a dam in Glen Canyon

Lauren Steely, late of the Bren School, did a neat analysis a few days ago to help visualize Oroville Dam inflow data. She’s using R’s joyplot tool, which is all the rage these days as a new day to line up and visualize variability in datasets that have repeating patterns. Like, for example, the annual hydrograph on …

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“springing condition subsequent”

Lawyers have the coolest language. Consider the doctrine of prior appropriation. “Beneficial use,” the drafters of the New Mexico constitution explained, “shall be the basis, the measure and the limit of the right to the use of water.” It felt like poetry the first time I heard the New Mexico state engineer roll it out …

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U.S.-Mexico Colorado River deal is close

With a Senate Hearing tomorrow and a meeting of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Thursday, we’re starting to see the public rollout of a Colorado River management agreement between the United States and Mexico that now looks like it’s on track to be signed within the next few months. The biggest clue that this could really …

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Arizona misters and the value of water

When we think today about Arizona’s water problems, we imagine large lawns in sprawling suburbs in and around Phoenix, golf courses, and “misters”—those devices that fritter away water into the hot desert air to cool the customers eating at outdoor restaurants in the Valley of the Sun. Me, in Water is For Fighting Over Lissa …

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birds and water in a changing West

Audubon has an excellent new report on risks to birds, and all that go with them, along the rivers and arid landscape lakes across western North America. Lots there, but I think this bit is especially important: Without reform, today’s water management framework could lead to severe water shortages to large numbers of people and …

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