Colorado River

January 4, 2016--Report: Lake Mead dropping 12 feet per year (Rocky Mountain PBS)

The math is simple. So states a disarming truism in a new report from the Colorado River Research Group, formed of water scholars in four states, “an independent, scientific voice for the future of the Colorado River.” In 2007, the U.S.


January 2, 2016--Troubled Colorado River gets new website (Arizona Daily Star)

The Colorado River is essential for life in the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.


WIP’s Participating Entity, SWCD, Update

At their December 9th Board meeting the following grants were funded by the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD):

-   Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) and Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC): The DWCD and MVIC requested a $25,000 SWCD grant in support of an initiative of the two water boards and counties for a redraft by David Robbins of Hill and Robbins, P.C. of the proposed National Conservation Area (NCA) legislation on the lower Dolores River as an alternative to current Wild and Scenic Suitability from McPhee Dam to Bedrock. A total of $25,000 will be raised from DWCD, MVIC, as well as Montezuma, Dolores, San Miguel, and Montrose counties.
-  Study to Determine Potential Colorado River Call Impacts to West Slope: At the December 18, 2014 meeting of the Four West Slope Basin Roundtables held at Ute Water in Grand Junction, various attendees cited the need for technical data so that the Four Roundtables could better discuss issues surrounding future Colorado River development and the risk to current water users. This also came up for each Basin Implementation Plan, and as part of the IBCC conceptual agreement for transmountain diversions. The River District would like SWCD to join in their request to the Four Roundtables to support technical data development by the two Districts. The purpose is to create a common platform to have fruitful discussions on the West Slope regarding Colorado River development. SWCD was asked to contribute $10,000 to this study, along with $10,000 from the River District, and $8,000 from each West Slope Roundtables for a total of $52,000 in funding. 


The Colorado River Desalination Plant

According to a High Country News article, the Paradox Valley in western Colorado was formed millions of years ago, when a huge dome of salt collapsed. Now, that salt remains and the waters of the Dolores River pick it up and carry it to the Colorado River, where it eventually degrades the water quality for downstream users. For nearly 50 years the Paradox Valley Unit, which is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has been treating the salt problem. According to the article, the unit treats nearly 200 gallons of brine every minute—this is seven times saltier than ocean water. The brine is then injected into a formation about 2.5 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. The formation, however, will eventually fill up rendering the unit useless. According to the HCN article, there are no obvious replacement options, and officials do not know how long they have left, but estimate 10 to 20 years. 


Speaker at 70th Annual CRWUA Conference Indicated: “Water cuts could create economic 'tsunami' for Colorado Basin”

According to an Arizona Daily Star article, economic analyst Jeremy Aquero had this to say at the recent Colorado River Water Users Association 70th Annual Conference in Las Vegas: “To understand how a future Colorado River water cutback could hurt the economy, start with this fact--the seven river basin states, by themselves, make up the fifth largest economy in the world. Then, consider that the economic output of the areas within those states that depend on the river for water equals that of Australia. So if this region doesn’t adapt to a cutoff with significant conservation, acquisition of new supplies or both, the economy will implode on itself. The effect will look more like a tsunami than ripple on a pond.”


December 27, 2015--Water cuts could create economic 'tsunami' for Colorado Basin (Arizona Daily Star)

To understand how a future Colorado River water cutback could hurt the economy, start with this fact: The seven river basin states, by themselves, make up the fifth largest economy in the world, a speaker said at a recent water conference. Then, consider that the economic output of the areas within those — including Arizona — that depend on the river for water equals that of Au


December 21, 2015--Colorado River states warned by feds to find a water fix (Arizona Daily Star)

For the second time in a decade, the feds are warning that if water interests in Arizona, California and Nevada can’t find a fix for the Colorado River’s problems, the interior secretary will find it for them. Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor implied that was the department’s position in a talk Friday to hundreds of water officials, farmers and others gathered in


October 13, 2015--Scholars urge more research on future of Colorado River (Associated Press)

A coalition of scholars across the West is urging the federal government to partner with the National Academy of Sciences to study the future of the Colorado River, including if climate change is leading to reduced stream flow. Twenty-three scholars from Western universities sent a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell detailing their request for more scientific research on a h


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