Federal pressure to do a Colorado River water conservation deal

Catching up after a busy final week of the semester at the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, I had time today to sit down and and think through the implications of this remarkable Bureau of Reclamation press release. It did a great job of achieving one of the primary goals of a news …

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Historic low flows on New Mexico’s Gila River

Our UNM Water Resources Program students used the Gila River in New Mexico for their spring case study projects, so I’ve made it a habit to watch the USGS “Gila near Gila” gauge. Class is finished, but the habit is not. Flow there dropped below 30 cubic feet per second this evening. Update: I didn’t …

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2017 Lower Colorado River Basin water use the lowest in a quarter century

Led by California, the states of the Lower Colorado River Basin had their lowest consumptive water use in 2017 since 1992, according to a near-final tally  by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The final numbers won’t be out until mid-May, so could change slightly, but at this point they won’t change much. And they show …

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Some helpful context for understanding the Central Arizona Project managers’ decisions in current Colorado River governance scrap

A guest post from Water Nerd, originally posted in the comments here and lifted, with permission, into a post of its own. It’s a valuable contribution to the discussion of the current scrapping on the Colorado River. ******** One of the most interesting ideas you discuss in your book is the application of Elinor Ostrom’s …

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Denver Water’s Jim Lochhead on the current Colorado River mess

In his April 16 letter to the Central Arizona Project’s management team, Denver Water’s Jim Lochhead, one of the leaders of the Colorado River water management community for more than two decades, was very explicit in the use of the word “manipulation” to describe what he believes the CAP is doing with its Lake Mead …

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California water use – still down

California’s water use: down. While it’s true that urban water use is not as low as it was at the height of the latest drought in 2015, it is still much lower than in 2013, before Californians were asked to significantly limit their water use. This winter, some media stories highlighted unfavorable month-to-month comparisons—for example, water …

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