More Colorado River “grand bargain” buzz

There was more buzz this week at two big Colorado River Basin events about the idea of a “grand bargain” to deal with coming collisions between water overallocation and the Law of the River. The idea crept into the title of the Water Education Foundation’s 2019 Santa Fe Symposium – “Can We Build a Bridge …

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All I Want is an Accurate Colorado River Map

  A guest post by Doug Kenney, University of Colorado In recent months, we’ve probably all encountered a dozen or more articles reflecting on the 150-year anniversary of the Colorado River voyage of John Wesley Powell.  It’s a story coming from the tail end of an era when map-makers used to be among the most …

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Las Vegas Bay: a path into the story of the Colorado River

I’m talking with University of New Mexico Water Resources Program students about the Colorado River this week, and pulling together some readings I had occasion to revisit the opening of The New Book: The boat ramp at Las Vegas Bay, once a shimmering recreation mecca on the shores of Lake Mead, now ends in a …

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Moving beyond the “water wars” frame

To speak of ‘war’ is to invoke images of militaries, violent conflict and destruction on a grand scale. Although we do not deny that water can be a factor – one among many – in some conflicts and mainly at intra-state level, we question why this drift towards water ‘securitisation’ at this time? To align …

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More talk of a Colorado River climate change “grand bargain”

The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley took a deep dive in today’s paper into the idea of a Colorado River “grand bargain” that might trade off the Lower Basin’s right to make a “call” on the river if flows at Lee’s Ferry drop against an Upper Basin cap on future development: The grand bargain concept arose …

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Colorado River water reduction rules: not quite voluntary, not quite mandatory – “vandatory”!

After Friday’s blog post and some intemperate tweeting about whether the Colorado River Drought Contingency plan cuts about to go into effect were voluntary or mandatory, a friend involved in the negotiations explained that they actually came up with a word for this: “vandatory”. The idea was that everything they all agreed to in DCP …

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A decent (not great, but decent) water year on the Colorado was not enough to stave off mandatory cuts

Walking across the University of New Mexico campus yesterday afternoon on my way to orientation for our incoming UNM Water Resources Program students, at precisely 3:10 pm MDT, a friend sent me a historic text message: “1089.4”. Translated from the native language of the Colorado River Water Nerd, “1089.4” means “The surface of Lake Mead …

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The repartimiento – a deep history of sharing water

Preparing for the fall class I co-teach, I was sitting out by the shady fountain in the old Zimmerman Library courtyard this morning, when I had occasion to spill carne adovada from my breakfast burrito on my copy of Jose Rivera’s book chapter on “The historical role of acequias and agriculture“. (Technically it’s my co-instructor …

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