U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

BOR Flow Recommendation Changes Proposed, by Steve Harris, Harris Water Engineering

An important component of the recovery of the endangered Colorado Pikeminnow and Razorback Sucker in the San Juan River is the magnitude and pattern of flows in the critical habitat downstream of Farmington. The first development of the flows was in 1999 that  primarily focused on the quantity of water and timing of releases from Navajo Reservoir. Also in 1999, a range of equally important flow ranges were estimated to be beneficial to recovery of the fish: base flows of 500 to 1000 cfs; peak intermediate flows of 2500/5000/8000 cfs; and peak flow of 10,000 cfs or more. The outlet works at Navajo Dam cannot release more than 5,000 cfs so in order to obtain flows downstream of Farmington approaching 10,000 cfs, Navajo releases need to be matched with high Animas River flows (i.e. spring runoff). 


Report: Colorado River Water Evaporation Increases Due to Climate Change

A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicted an 8 percent increase in irrigation demand on the lower half of the Colorado River Basin and a 10 percent increase in evaporation from Lake Mead by 2080. The upper half of the Basin, above Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, is expected to see demand for agricultural water jump by almost 23 percent, while Lake Powell loses 7 percent more water to evaporation than it did during the last half of the 20th century. The estimates are based on a projected temperature increase of about 5 degrees across the region.


March 30, 2015--What severe drought in the Colorado River Basin looks like (Washington Post)

Lake Powell, one of the nation’s largest reservoirs, is now below 45 percent of its capacity. Straddling the border between Utah and Arizona, the man-made reservoir is part of the Colorado Water Basin that supplies water to 40 million people.


March 9, 2015--Can climate action plans combat megadrought and save the Colorado River? (Eco Watch)

Two of the largest reservoirs in the U.S.—Lakes Mead and Powell along the Colorado River—continue to lose water and are now less than half full with no prediction that the trend will change direction. The U.S.


March 7, 2015--Rep. River agreement increases supplies for irrigation (Grand Island Independent)

Some surface water irrigators in Nebraska’s part of the Republican Basin will get more water for their 2015 crops than originally expected as a result of an agreement signed Friday through the Republican River Compact Administration. The 1943 compact allocates a percentage of the water available annually to Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. The agreement includes the U.S.


February 28, 2015--Calif. farms to go without federal water again in 2015 (Capital Press)

Many farms in California’s Central Valley will have to do without federal water again this year unless big spring storms replenish the state’s woeful mountain snowpack. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s initial allocation, announced Feb.


February 27, 2015--Top official delivers bleak forecast for Lake Mead (Las Vegas Review Journal)

Nevada faces “significant possibilities” of water shortages if drought on the Colorado River persists into the next two years, according to an ominous forecast delivered Wednesday by a top government official.


February 12, 2015--Lake Powell and the Colorado River Basin’s disappearing 2015 water (Ink Stain)

The Colorado Basin’s two primary reservoirs lost, on paper, a million acre feet of water because of January’s dry snowpack, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. That’s the difference between what we expected to end the current water year with based on the January forecast, versus what the forecast looks like today, a month later.


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