Risk of Colorado River shortage declaration rising

Tony Davis reports the Bureau of Reclamation’s latest model runs up the odds of a 2016 Lower Basin shortage declaration to one in three:

The odds of a shortage in water deliveries to Arizona and other Lower Colorado River Basin states in 2016 are now 33 percent, up from 21 percent as predicted in January, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said.

By 2017, the odds rise to 75 percent, compared to a January prediction of 54 percent.

What does this mean? Central Arizona ag takes the biggest hit. Phoenix and Tucson are in good shape for now:

This is a big deal, but it is almost entirely an Arizona big deal. Arizona currently has the slack in its system to absorb the reductions, including possibly deeper cuts if Mead continues to drop, without major disruptions. The Phoenix and Tucson metro areas are not going to dry up and blow away.