After decades of warming and drying, the Colorado River struggles to water the West
The Colorado River is tapped out. Another dry year has left the waterway that supplies 40 million people in the Southwest parched. A prolonged 21-year warming and drying trend is pushing the nation’s two largest reservoirs to record lows. For the first time this summer, the federal government will declare a shortage. Climate change is exacerbating the current drought. Warming temperatures are upending how the water cycle functions in the Southwest. The 1,450-mile long river acts as a drinking water supply, a hydroelectric power generator, and an irrigator of crop fields across seven Western states and two in Mexico.
- Washington Post: Reservoirs are drying up in the Western U.S.
- JFleck at Inkstain: Brad Udall - Second-worst Powell inflows in more than half a century
- Politico: The Colorado River dryout
- The Guardian: ‘We live in a desert. We have to act like it’: Las Vegas faces reality of drought
- Environmental Defense Fund: Blog: This landmark water conservation agreement is good news for Arizona. We need more like it.
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: Reclamation releases additional 5-year projections to support drought response planning efforts in the Colorado River Basin
- The Associated Press: Arizona water utility says 2021 runoff season was 2nd-driest
- Nevada Independent: What does a Colorado River shortage look like for the agency managing Lake Mead?
- Fox 13: Colorado River system poised for first ever official shortages