Deadpool Diaries: Ignore this post about the latest Colorado River runoff forecast

The Feb.1 numbers from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center look good – Lake Powell inflow 1.4 million acre feet above the median. We’ve got a lot of winter left, so definitely too early to make big plans to, for example, cut Colorado River water use deeply to avoid deadpool or, alternatively, decide that we …

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Deadpool Diaries: The numbers in the states’ two proposals

Getting ready for an interview this morning with Mark Brodie at KJZZ (waving at my Phoenix friends!) I put together a table to make it easier to compare the six-state proposal submitted Monday to reduce Lower Colorado River Basin water use, and the California proposal submitted yesterday (Tues. 1/31/23). Perhaps worth sharing here? “Elevation” is …

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Deadpool Diaries: Can the Colorado River community walk, chew gum, and recite Homer’s Odyssey at the same time?

While we eagerly await whatever it is that might happen this week as the Colorado River basin states struggle to come up with a short term plan to use less water, the Bureau of Reclamation is inviting y’all to a webinar this afternoon (Monday Jan. 30 2023, details here) to begin thinking about a long …

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Deadpool Diaries: Trapped, again, in a world we never made

As we get spun up for the second time in six months about a capricious notion of a “deadline” to fix the Colorado River, I’m reminded of the tagline from my favorite teenage superhero comic, Marvel’s Howard the Duck: Trapped in a world he never made. Once again, we are trapped in a narrative driven …

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the rise and fall of “the flood menace”

Doing reading for the new book on early 1920s Albuquerque, as business leaders pursued what would become the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, I see the regular return of a phrase I’d come to see frequently my reading of Colorado River history in the same time period: the flood menace Here’s the Albuquerque Journal, reporting …

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Dead Pool Diaries: Jack Schmidt on the hydrologic dance of operating Glen Canyon Dam at extremely low levels

An exchange on Twitter about the definition of “dead pool” sent me back to Jack Schmidt et al’s extremely useful (and now extremely relevant) 2016 analysis of what would be required to empty Lake Powell and move all the water down to Lake Mead. It’s the thing that disabused me of my simplistic notion that …

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a Colorado River hypothetical and an attention-getting cuss word

Colorado River political and policy discourse is tangled right now around an increasingly unhelpful set of questions. They involve process: Should the federal government step in and impose cuts? Should the Lower Basin states, especially Arizona and California, do more to save themselves? Should we pay farmers to fallow? How much? Should the Upper Basin …

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