Rhees to head USBR Upper Colorado office

The Bureau of Reclamation today named Brent Rhees to head its Salt Lake City-based Upper Colorado office: As deputy regional director, Rhees managed several complex and high profile issues, including the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program, dam safety modifications, implementation of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, the Colorado River Salinity Control Program and …

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The Colorado River’s Parker valley – “the illusion of plenty”

Parker Live, a news web site based in Parker, Arizona, seems to be engaging in a little bit of what Kathryn Sorensen calls “drought schadenfreude” here. Parker sits on the Colorado, at the head of a rich farming valley with some of the most senior rights on the river and big farming that has thus far …

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Dams, water, and the Arizona state seal

Arizona’s state seal is a fascinating bit of iconography in light of the state’s uneasy relationship with aridity and developed water. A dam, a river and irrigated land are given center stage – water projects as state destiny. Today I learned the seal’s details are actually enshrined in the state constitution: In the background shall be …

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In drought, would peripheral tunnels doom the Sacramento delta?

Doug Obegi lays out an interesting argument about the implications of drought for the “Bay Delta Conservation Plan”, the California plan to build great water-carrying tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for farms and cities to the south. On paper, the tunnels would be largely dry during drought years, to preserve salinity balance in the …

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Pat Mulroy and “the tragedy of the anticommons”

Lea-Rachel Kosnick, in a paper a few years back, described the “tragedy of the anticommons”. In a classic “tragedy of the commons,” every pumper is sticking their straw into an aquifer and sucking it out, with no incentive to conserve because the other folks will just take the rest anyway. In the “anticommons” example, there …

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jfleck’s water news – are we over we overreacting to California drought?

Succeeded in hitting my Monday morning target for this week’s water news. One of my readers complained that I’m writing too much to keep up with these days (I’ve got a lot of ideas, which I bake halfway and then slop onto Inkstain. You’re my test market.) The newsletter was an attempt to provide a …

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