First the bad news from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center’s mid-February forecast – this year’s runoff into Flaming Gorge, which is at record low thanks to Drought Response Operations Agreement releases to prop up Lake Powell, is forecast to be below average this year, at 86 percent of average. At some point we’ve gotta refill this hole.
But the Lake Powell forecast continues to hover well above the “average” line, currently sitting at 117 percent.
Reclamation’s latest 24-month study “most probable” shows Powell bouncing back to above elevation 3,550. In the “olden days” (like, last year?) 3,550 would have been awful, but in the midst of our current crisis management fire drill it looks pretty good.
Mead stays awful in the current “most probable”, ending the water year at elevation1,034, another 10 feet below current levels, which should be enough for photojournalists to find some fresh wrecked pleasure boats, or possibly mob hits.
Under the “min probable”, Powell ends the water year at 3,544 and Mead ends at 1,021.
To help frame the current discussions, here’s the hypothetical Lower Basin cuts under the six-state and California SEIS proposals under elevations in the min probable forecast:
|cuts, by state, at Mead elevation 1,020-1,025||6-state proposal||California proposal|
As always, a big thanks to Inkstain supporters who help make this possible.
Really is time for California to pay the piper