Nevada: lack of a deal threatens the future of the Colorado River

Strongly worded letter today from John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority about the failure to reach a deal on Colorado River cutbacks:   More later, I’m supposed to be paying attention to a zoom meeting, but making this as broadly publicly available as possible seemed important. Click the “view document” link to see …

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How We Got Into This Mess on the Colorado River

By Jack Schmidt, John Fleck, and Eric Kuhn On the eve of the release of the US Bureau of Reclamation’s August Colorado River reservoir forecasts – freighted with meaning this month because of Reclamation’s ultimatum to the states about the need to cut water use – we look back at the last four decades of …

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At this point, a voluntary “2 to 4 million acre feet of additional conservation” Colorado River deal by Aug. 16 seems out of reach

Janet Wilson had a helpful story yesterday in the Desert Sun about California’s negotiations over its piece of the looming Colorado River cutbacks. Its bottom line is that California – the state with the largest Colorado River allocation – is talking about kicking in 500,000 acre feet of water. Or maybe it’s really just 400,000 …

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“Drouth had no terrors here.”

I dropped off the Santa Fe Overland at Albuquerque about a year ago during the drouth that prevailed over the southwest at that time. The range was as dry and hard as a table. Rivers and streams had dried up. Cattle were dying and the country seemed utterly desolate. Imagine my astonishment and delight when …

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Does the Upper Colorado River Basin Routinely Take Shortages in Dry Years?

By John Fleck, Eric Kuhn, and Jack Schmidt As stakeholders negotiate the current crisis on the Colorado River, we believe the representatives of the states of the Upper Basin – our states – are making a dangerous argument. Their premise is simple. With deep cutbacks needed, the Upper Basin states argue that their part of …

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For the first time in four decades, the Rio Grande through Albuquerque is dry

For the first time in ~40 years (? – see below) New Mexico’s Rio Grande has “broken” – is no longer flowing – in what we call “the Albuquerque reach”. The river dries not with a bang, but with a muddy whimper and the dawn serenade of awakening birds. Battered by 100-degree days, with storage …

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The poets down here don’t write nothin’ at all, they just stand back and let it all be.

Colorado has no plans to make additional cuts to water use next year to meet the Bureau of Reclamation’s demand to conserve millions of acre-feet of water, a step needed to preserve power production in Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Instead, Colorado officials insist that other states should do the cutting. “I think that at …

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