Jewell announces bridge to completion of Colorado River deals

update: here’s a link to the full text of the Secretarial order Page 1 of Jan. 18, 2017 Colorado River Interior Secretarial Order Contributed to DocumentCloud by John Fleck of Beyond the Water Wars • View document or read text The Obama administration’s senior western water leadership this afternoon announced a Colorado River water management …

Continue reading ‘Jewell announces bridge to completion of Colorado River deals’ »

California’s finally wet enough that the Metropolitan Water District of So Cal could store this year

This is a big deal: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which gathers water for 19 million people in the region, expects it can now begin storing water for future years. In recent years, it had been using up its water reserves. It’s just one bit of a thoroughly excellent piece on the state …

Continue reading ‘California’s finally wet enough that the Metropolitan Water District of So Cal could store this year’ »

Melons, lettuce, and other things about 2016

On a personal level, 2016 has been pretty great. I published a book, Water is for Fighting Over: and Other Myths about Water in the West, which has been well received. When I was struggling three years ago to move from the general – “I want to write a book” – to the specific – “I …

Continue reading ‘Melons, lettuce, and other things about 2016’ »

Have we halted Lake Mead’s decline?

There’s a “half full/half empty” joke in here somewhere. The reservoirs of the Colorado River Basin are 49 percent full/51 percent empty right now (data pdf). Despite another bad runoff year, that’s pretty much exactly where they were at the end of 2015. Let’s go with half full then, shall we? We’ve come within a couple …

Continue reading ‘Have we halted Lake Mead’s decline?’ »

The Lee’s Ferry flood of record and the cat in the tree

[T]he maximum discharge known outside the period of record was about 8500 m³sec¯¹ on July 7, 1884. According to E. C. LaRue (1925), during this flood, a resident of Lees Ferry rescued his cat from the branches of an apple tree. Decades later, the resident, with “the height of the water on the trunk of …

Continue reading ‘The Lee’s Ferry flood of record and the cat in the tree’ »

In western water management, the rest of us nervously watch California

One of my new lectures this semester for UNM Water Resources Program students tackled the question of where and how you draw boundaries around a water management problem. The example I worked through was the Colorado River and the U.S.-Mexico border. You have water management institutions and governance that are largely separate on each side …

Continue reading ‘In western water management, the rest of us nervously watch California’ »

The Sacramento Delta-Colorado River connection

LA Times on the eve of the release of the EIS on Sacramento Delta water diversion tunnels: Talks are ongoing over the Colorado River, where drought and increasing demand from Arizona and Nevada may reduce California’s share. If the tunnels are never built, the Met will need to drive a harder bargain on the Colorado to …

Continue reading ‘The Sacramento Delta-Colorado River connection’ »