who’s in charge of Arizona’s Colorado River water?

The feud within Arizona over who’s in charge of the state’s Colorado River water – the state Department of Water Resources or the Central Arizona Water Conservation District – escalated this week. This is from an April 25 “cease and desist” letter (obtained by me through a state public records act request) from the Arizona …

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Bonus water for Lake Mead, with the chance for more next year

Dan Elliott has details on yesterday’s USBR announcement of a 9 million acre foot release from Lake Mead: The Bureau of Reclamation, which manages dams and reservoirs on the Colorado River, said it will release 9 million acre-feet from Lake Powell, sending it down the Colorado into Lake Mead, where it will be tapped by …

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Oroville’s impact on Lake Mead

Friday’s announcement of an 85 percent California State Water Project allocation was, tentatively at least, good news for Lake Mead. When the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California gets a small supply from up north via the State Water Project, it needs more Colorado River water. Conversely, with a big State Water Project supply coming …

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the paradoxes of irrigation efficiency

The University of New Mexico water posse had a great visit yesterday with Christopher Scott, the new director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Scott spoke a couple of times and met with students at our Community and Regional Planning program, who have been doing a lot …

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Lower Colorado – America’s “most endangered river”

The environmental group American Rivers today declared the Lower Colorado River America’s “most endangered river“. The web page announcing this is fascinating. The pictures are not of iconic desert canyons and pristine rivers. They are of farmers. Growing food. A reminder of the multiplicity of values with which we embrace the importance of rivers.

Glen Canyon Dam and the $10 bill on the sidewalk

tl;dr The claims of “Fill Mead First” advocates that we could save hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water a year while draining Lake Powell and consolidating all the Colorado River’s water in Lake Mead don’t hold up. The longer version…. There’s this joke. Two economists are walking down the street when one spots …

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Does Las Vegas have the most reliable water supply in the Colorado River Basin?

David Owen makes an interesting point in this New Yorker piece: Just as proximity makes people think that Las Vegas is the principal cause of the decline of Lake Mead, it also makes them think that any further decline in the lake will be a problem mainly, or even only, for Las Vegas. But that …

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