Colorado River

July 6, 2015--Las Vegas completing final work to draw water from a shrinking Lake Mead (Fox News)

It took $817 million, two starts, more than six years and one worker's life to drill a so-called "Third Straw" to make sure glittery casinos and sprawling suburbs of Las Vegas can keep getting drinking water from near the bottom of drought-stricken Lake Mead. The pipeline, however, won't drain the largest Colorado River reservoir any faster.


July 5, 2015--California drought sends U.S. water agency back to drawing board (New York Times)

Drew Lessard stood on top of Folsom Dam and gazed at the Sierra Nevada, which in late spring usually gushes enough melting snow into the reservoir to provide water for a million people. But the mountains were bare, and the snowpack to date remains the lowest on measured record. “If there’s no snowpack, there’s no water,” said Mr.


July 2, 2015--Beyond the perfect drought: California’s real water crisis (Environment 360)

The current drought afflicting California is indeed historic, but not because of the low precipitation totals. In fact, in terms of overall precipitation and spring snowpack, the past three years are not record-breakers, according to weather data for the past century.


July 1, 2015--In drying Colorado River Basin, Indian Tribes are water dealmakers (Circle of Blue)

Mired in drought and torched by one of the hottest years ever measured, the seven states of the Colorado River Basin are acutely aware of how a desert can bully water supplies. They are not alone.


July 1, 2015--Federal farming incentives contribute to the "killing" of the Colorado River (Aspen Public Radio)

Incentives from the federal government for farmers who grow crops like cotton are contributing to the depletion of the Colorado River. A Propublica report this spring investigated the issue. The article’s author was at the Aspen Ideas Festival Tuesday (6/30).


Colorado #1 Endangered River

The Grand Canyon stretch of the Colorado tops American Rivers' 32nd annual list of endangered rivers because of cumulative threats to scenery and spring water from commercial and residential development plans, and from a push to restart major uranium mining. The designation marks the third year in a row that all or part of the drought-sapped river has been at or near the top of the advocacy group's annual watch list of rivers it feels face potentially harmful actions or decisions in the coming year. A gondola-tramway plan that would drop up to 10,000 tourists daily a few thousand feet down to the canyon bottom on the river's south side helped push the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado to the top of this year's list.


At the Margins

Across the Colorado River Basin precipitation has been well above average, and while it has not been enough to make up for a weak winter snowpack, it has been enough to improve things significantly at the margins, at a time when “at the margins” is where the basin’s managers have been eking out a nerve-wracking existence. In particular, a 2016 Lower Basin shortage declaration, which would have mandated reduced water deliveries to Central Arizona, seems a lot less likely.


June 29, 2015--In a water-scarce West of the future, who will be hit hardest? (Conversation)

Despite recent flooding in Colorado and Texas, the multi-year California drought has brought water scarcity to the forefront of conversation throughout the West. There has been lots of debate in the media and in scientific circles about whether this drought is a preview of a “new normal” for western water.


June 29, 2015--Lake Mead decline below 1,075 feet is symbolic (Tucson.com)

If New Year’s Day had happened last week, the Central Arizona Project would have suffered the first water shortage in its 35-year history. That’s because Lake Mead — where CAP water is stored at the Nevada border — dropped below 1,075 feet elevation late Tuesday, and stayed that way off and on the rest of the week. That’s the level at which the federal go


June 28, 2015--Can cloud-seeding ride to the rescue? (Mountain Town News)

After a so-so winter, the snow piled up through May in the mountains of Colorado, taking the edge off drought. This takes the edge off of the big Colorado River reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell.


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