Arizona Could See Colorado Shortage by 2012

Tony Davis reports in this morning’s Arizona Daily Star that the Central Arizona Project could see a shortage in its Colorado River allocation by 2012:

For decades, most water experts have expected the Central Arizona Project to eventually run short, as population growth outstripped the supply of the Colorado River that long ago was over-allocated among the seven states dependent on it.

Now, that day could be nearing. Officials are warning that the first CAP shortage could arrive in two years, due in part to a poor snowpack in Rocky Mountain states this winter, on top of the river basin’s worst 10-year drought on the historical record.


  1. If the drought continues at the present rate, shortages forecast by 2012 will not be just for AZ but for ALL of the lower basin states in the Colorado River Compact. The ‘flag’ is the level of Lake Mead when it drops to a minimum value of 1075.0 feet.

    Right now the level is 1097.7 feet. Right now, we have lower than normal snow pack levels. The difference in twenty two feet is not a long distance and 2012 is two years distant.


  2. Actually, AZ (or more specifically the Central Arizona Project) is the first to be cut because that was the deal AZ made to get the CAP built. Nevada also shares in the pain with small reductions to their already small allotment. But CA keeps their 4.4 maf come hell or low water, unless AZ and NV are in full revolt and storming the borders of the IID.

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