#ColoradoRiver “The Dead End” Continues – The #Gunnison Country Times #COriver #aridifcation – Coyote Gulch

Click the link to read the article on the Gunnison Country Times website (Alan Wartes). Here is an exerpt :

On August 16, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) issued a press release reaffirming the urgency of the situation and outlining the actions it will take in the coming months to protect the water levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

“Every sector in every state has a responsibility to ensure that water is used at maximum efficiency. In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River system and a future of uncertainty and conflict, the use of water in the basin must be reduced,” said Deputy Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “The Department of the Interior is employing quick and responsive action and investment to ensure the Colorado River Basin can function and support all who depend on it. We are grateful to the public servants who have dedicated their lives to this work and who are passionate about the long-term sustainability of Basin states, tribes and communities.”

“They said, ‘Well, we appreciate all the effort, and here’s what the August 24 study shows, and here’s what we’re going to do for next year, which is basically in line with the 2007 guidelines with an amendment, said John McClow, general counsel for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy district.

This change to the already existing agreement, McClow said, was to withhold 480,000 acres of water from Lake Powell to protect the critical 3,525-foot elevation, but treat it as going to Lake Mead for the purposes. water accounting.

“So nothing new,” McClow said. “But they said they were still waiting for states to come up with an answer. Basically, I think it was unrealistic to expect the states to come up with a plan to reduce river use by 2 to 4 million acre feet in 60 days. It just wasn’t doable.

Brad Udall: This is the latest version of my 4-panel chart up to the year of water (October-September) of 2021 of the Colorado River’s major reservoirs, natural flows, precipitation, and temperature. The data (PRISM) dates back to 1906 (or 1935 for reservoirs). This updates previous work with @GreatLakesPeck. https://twitter.com/bradudall/status/1449828004230664195

The problem remains that aridification in the West has meant much less water available in the system over the past 20 years. This is compounded by what some have called a “structural imbalance” in how water is used between the upper and lower basins. In 2021, for example, the lower basin states consumed more than 10 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River, while the upper basin states together consumed 3.5 million acre-feet.

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