Lake Powell at its highest level in four years

Despite a below-average year in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Lake Powell will reach its summer peak this year at its highest level in four years. That comes despite the fact that, once again, the Upper Basin is releasing “bonus” water from Glen Canyon Dam to prop up water users in Arizona, Nevada, California, and …

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Gila River diversion being significantly downscaled

We now have an answer to the question of where the money will come from for a billion dollar diversion to take water from the Gila River, a Colorado River tributary in southwestern New Mexico. Nowhere. Laura Paskus has the scoop on this week’s decision by the project’s governing body to abandon the Cadillac versions …

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Palm Springs, a water conservation success?

Palm Springs, in the deserts of Southern California, would never be mistaken for an actual desert. They dump too much water on their landscaping for that.  But Ian James reports they’re getting better: May turned out to be a banner month for water conservation in the Palm Springs area, with customers of the Desert Water …

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Metro Los Angeles – one of the places Californians *do* regulate their groundwater

Steve Scauzillo wrote last week about the Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s decision to invest $110 million in a new wastewater treatment plant, that they might use 21,000 acre feet now discharged to the ocean to recharge regional aquifers instead. Formed in the early 1960s, the WRD is the best example of one of …

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Unsettled questions about Native American water rights in the Colorado River Basin

More than a dozen Native American communities in the Colorado River Basin have yet to have their legal entitlements to a share of the river’s water quantified, according to a new report from the Colorado River Research Group. With the river’s water already over-appropriated (meaning users, largely non-Indian, have built farms and cities that have …

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New outlook shifts odds slightly toward dry 2016-17 across Colorado River Basin

At the risk of driving faster than is prudent on a twisty mountain road at night, the new 2016-17 climate outlook released yesterday does not look particularly encouraging for the Colorado River Basin: That’s December 2016 – February 2017. Browns mean odds are shifted toward dry. A reminder that the maps can be a little …

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Have we stabilized the Colorado River’s water supplies?

It’s a bait and switch. The answer is “no”. (It always is when it ends with a question mark. See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines.) But as I report in my water newsletter, there are some encouraging signs that we’re moving in the right direction. You can subscribe to the newsletter, which is supposed to come …

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