Peak Water

Marty Hoerling’s discussion of western U.S. drought in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report model runs (which I wrote about last fall) is out:

Our study reveals that a sustained change in moisture conditions is unfolding within the broad range of natural variations. The Southwest is likely past the peak water experienced in the 20th century preceding the signing of the 1922 Colorado Compact: a decline in Lees Ferry flow will reduce water availability below current consumptive demands within a mere 20 years. These projections further expose the risky reliance by Colorado River water users upon the Compact as a guarantee that streamflows will always materialize to match legislated requirements.


  1. and any chance of more water reaching the Delta? What are the chances that a severe drought might lead to reallocation via a renogiation of the compact and what might the possibilities then be? [John M. – where are you? e-mail me!]

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