Deadpool Diaries: Paying to fallow may not save as much water as we think

Given that we’re about to spend a billion dollars to fallow land to reduce water use in the Colorado River Basin, it’s reasonable to ask how we can be sure we know how much water is actually being saved. The answer, according to new work by Katharine Wright and colleagues at Arizona State University, may …

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Deadpool Diaries: The Law of Shipwrecks

That boat is totally fixable. – Inkstain reader Greg This raises a fascinating legal question: whose boat is it? 43 U.S. Code § 2101 The Congress finds that— (a) States have the responsibility for management of a broad range of living and nonliving resources in State waters and submerged lands; and (b) included in the …

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Historical Perspective on the Accounting for Evaporation and System Losses in the Lower Colorado River Basin

Over the past year, the question of how to account for evaporation and system losses in the Lower Colorado River Basin has become a hot political and policy topic. With the recent Lower Basin water use reduction scheme, we seem to have set the question aside for now. But it’s not going away. My Science …

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Deadpool Diaries: June 1 Colorado River system status report

Lake Mead ended May 2023 at elevation 1,054.28 feet above sea level. That’s up five feet in a month, at a time of year when the reservoir is usually dropping, so I guess yay? It’s also up 6 1/2 feet from last year, so I guess yay? But also worth noting: Mead is down 32 …

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Deadpool Diaries: The Case for a Shitty Deal

I’ve had long conversations this week with smart friends grudgingly supporting of the Lower Basin deal to reduce Colorado River water use over the next few years. Their case for it is simple. Yes, it’s an awful deal in so many ways, but it does have the potential to generate some short term water use …

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Deadpool Diaries: “Nice river basin ya’ got there….”

This feels like a shakedown. Nice river basin ya’ got there. Would be shame if somethin’ happened to it. For decades, Lower Colorado River water users have been taking more water than the river can provide, threatening their own communities’ futures. Unable to come up with a plan to live within their water means, they’re …

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Deadpool Diaries: Colorado River Report Card, May 2023 – please tell us your plan

The Bureau of Reclamation is currently blasting water out the bottom of Glen Canyon Dam as Lake Powell rises with this year’s big snowmelt. (The big spike is an experimental flow pulse.) Lake Mead, as a result, is rising for the first time in a while, with the wrecked speedboats disappearing – and with it, …

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Deadpool Diaries: tapping the brakes on Colorado River cuts

Last updated 2 p.m. MDT April 12, 2023 – with explanation of why the feds’ cut isn’t as deep as the states’ I’ll need a few more days to digest all 476 pages of the Department of Interior’s Colorado River Draft Supplemental Environmental Environmental Impact Statement, but the top line numbers are worth sharing right …

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