U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

July 17, 2015--How the West overcounts its water supplies (New York Times)

Paul Matuska is the closest thing the American West has to a water cop, and his beat includes Needles, Calif., a beleaguered desert town midway between Flagstaff, Ariz., and Los Angeles. About 4,800 people live in Needles, on the western bank of the Colorado River where it cuts a swath in the mud between California and Arizona.


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.


June 24, 2015--Lake Mead sinks to record low, risking water shortage (USA Today)

Lake Mead sunk to a record low Tuesday night, falling below the point that would trigger a water-supply shortage if the reservoir doesn't recover soon. Water managers expect the lake's level to rebound enough to ward off a 2016 shortage thanks to a wetter-than-expected spring. But in the long run, as a U.S.


June 2, 2015--River releases for endangered fish begin (North Denver News)

Coordinated releases from a series of Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs began yesterday afternoon and are anticipated to carry on through early next week as part of the Coordinated Reservoirs Operations Program. Managers of the reservoirs completed a conference call yesterday, agreeing to voluntarily run the program this year.


May 22, 2015--‘Miracle May’ for Colorado 
water levels (Grand Junction Sentinel)

May showers are bringing a respite for Colorado River water managers worried about keeping enough water in Lake Powell to generate electricity. “This May has really been a miracle in Colorado,” said Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Thursday at the Mesa County State of the Rivers discussion at the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction.


May 16, 2015--Drought’s extremes tallied at record-low Lake Mead (New York Times)

Gail Kaiser has spent much of her life here on Lake Mead, with its crystal blue water pouring into canyons and splintering off like blood vessels into coves and bays, forming the vast reservoir that stretches into two states. She was just a child when, in 1957, her father took over the marina that has stayed in her family’s hands ever since.


April 24, 2015--Savage drought will drive Lake Mead to record low on Sunday (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Sunday’s forecast for Lake Mead calls for breezy conditions, with a high in the low 80s and a water level as low as it has been in 78 years. The reservoir east of Las Vegas is expected to reach a new record low this weekend and continue downward another 7 feet through June, as the drought-stricken Colorado River withers from its 12th dry year since 2000.


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.


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