In conservations with reporters over the last week, Mike Connor of the US Bureau of Reclamation has mentioned an agency analysis showing a substantial chance of a Colorado River lower basin shortage declaration happening by 2016. This would occur if Lake Mead’s surface elevation drops below 1075 feet above sea level. Here’s my story, explaining how such a declaration, which would initially only impact lower basin states, could over time reach upstream to New Mexico and the other upper basin states:
The Colorado River Basin could see shortages as early as 2016, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Initially, shortages would be borne by Nevada and Arizona, but states using water farther up the river’s basin, including New Mexico, could see shortages in the years that follow, Mike Connor, head of the Bureau of Reclamation, told the Journal in an interview Tuesday.