Water flowing in the Colorado River Delta

UNM Water Resources Program student Annalise Porter tipped me off to this, from Audubon’s Jennifer Pitt:   At a time when the world feels bleak and uncertain, I want to share a sign of hope: it has been raining, and the Colorado River is flowing in its delta #CORiver ?@RaiseRiver? pic.twitter.com/6W8iRcvm3r — Jennifer Pitt (@JnPitt) …

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Stream gaging in the time of pandemic, Episode II

From the comments, DG elaborates on the task of stream gaging And I can see our intrepid hydrotech out on a walkway at the ‘gage’ (thanks for that), laptop in hand. He’s cabled up to a Data Logger dumping the collected data that had accumulated since his last visit to the site some 4 to …

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How Dry was 2000-2018 on the Colorado Compared to “Normal”?

By Eric Kuhn The Colorado River’s natural flows are shrinking by 9% per degree C (1.8 F) of warming as climate change continues to sap the river’s flow, according to an important new study by Chris Milly and Krista Dunne of the US Geological Survey. Milly and Dunne also conclude that increasing precipitation is unlikely …

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Could water from retiring coal plants help solve the Upper Colorado River Basin’s “demand management” problem?

By Eric Kuhn As the states of the Upper Colorado River Basin work through how to build a “demand management” account in their reservoirs to protect against shortages, water from retiring coal plants could play a crucial role. With few alternatives for use of the water, simply banking it in Upper Basin reservoirs is an …

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We keep projecting that water use will go up. We keep mostly being wrong.

Jian Wang and David E. Rosenberg at Utah State have put together an incredibly helpful compilation of past projections of Upper Colorado River Basin consumptive use, as compared to what then actually happened: When averaged over the long term, each scenario of future consumptive use over-estimated the observed consumptive use. Herein lies the space for …

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Robert Moses, the Colorado River, and the tragedy of the anticommons

[T]he anticommons refers to situations where there are numerous overlapping rights holders (or what might also be seen as numerous policy advocacy coalitions) each with some power to veto or block system or operation change. The tragedy emerges when the composite effect of such power prevents significant change in the system. – Jones, Benjamin A., …

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Retiring coal plants as a Colorado River Basin demand management strategy

OK, “strategy” is not exactly the right word here, but we take our water conservation where we can find it, eh? Luke Runyon took a nice dive into the water supply implications of the West’s wave of coal plant retirements. Because coal plants use water. Here’s my coauthor Eric Kuhn on the implications: “As a …

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