Double Dead Pool on the Colorado River

The Bureau of Reclamation folks haven’t posted the slides yet from last week’s Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement briefings. In the meantime, some of us in the Colorado River nerd world have been passing around our screenshotted copies like some sort of precious mimeographed ’60s ‘zine. It was a remarkable affair. Buried in the tables and …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact negotiations: Heading Home

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck After signing the Colorado River Compact on Friday, Nov. 24, 1922, the commissioners and their advisors returned to their home states. The compact would not become effective until it had been ratified by the legislatures of each of the states and the United States Congress. It was now time …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact history: the deal signed, the rhetoric soars

By John Fleck and Eric Kuhn As the Colorado River Compact’s negotiators trekked home in the final week of November 1922 following the completion of their task, the rhetoric soared. Newspapers across the basin published the text of the Compact in full, and the leaders of the negotiation effort fanned out to praise the effort …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact negotiations: the Compact is signed

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck The final day of the Colorado River Compact negotiations seemed almost anticlimactic. Wordsmithing “unperfected rights”? Unable to reach a final agreement on Article VIII on Thursday evening, the Commission met again on Friday morning, Nov. 24, 1922, at 10 AM. They began with a discussion of “unperfected rights.”  The …

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A century ago in the Colorado River Compact: Wordsmithing details as time runs short

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck It was snowing like crazy at Bishop’s Lodge outside Santa Fe as the Colorado River Commission Chairman Herbert Hoover called the 24th meeting to order at 9:45 AM on the morning of Nov. 23, 1922. The Commission had only about 30 hours left before its Friday afternoon target for …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact negotiations: Agreeing on apportioning the river

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck When the Colorado River Compact Commission adjourned two days previously, on Nov. 20, 1922, two major Colorado River Compact issues had been left unresolved; the amount of water that would be apportioned to the Lower Basin and how the compact would address the need for storage to protect the …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact negotiations: A path to solving the Arizona problem?

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck As Chairman Herbert Hoover gaveled the 21st meeting of the Colorado River Commission to order on the morning of Nov. 20, 1922, they faced two big issues: Arizona’s concerns that the proposal on the table would not provide enough water for Lower Basin water users, and the question of …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact negotiations: Arizona, Mexico, and the afterthought of Tribal water rights

By Eric Kuhn and John Fleck After a two-day break to allow the drafters to do their work, the Colorado River Compact negotiators came back together a century ago, on Nov. 19, 1922, to wrestle with three unresolved questions: water for Arizona – specifically its use of tributaries within Arizona water Mexico water for the …

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A century ago in Colorado River Compact Negotiations: “I wish to warn California…”

By John Fleck and Eric Kuhn The world outside of Bishop’s Lodge in New Mexico got its first glimpse of the nascent Colorado River Compact on in the days following the Nov. 16, 1922, meeting as Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover briefed reporters on the barest details of what was transpiring behind closed doors. For the …

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