The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in north-central Arizona also
created Lake Powell. Lake Powell serves as a holding tank for the
Colorado River Upper Basin States: Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and
After nearly a year of gridlocked negotiations on the future of
the stressed Colorado River, Arizona, California, and Nevada
reached a breakthrough last week, uniting behind a voluntary
proposal to further curtail their water use. Some observers
call the proposal “historic.” But how significant is it? Since
the news broke, others have described the Lower Basin agreement
as overhyped. It’s still just a proposal, and only a short-term
one for managing critically low reservoirs, which threaten
hydropower and water supplies for millions of people.
The Colorado River plays a pivotal role in the lives of many
western state residents as a major municipal and agricultural
water source. Lake Powell, a reservoir on the border of Utah
and Arizona, is fed by the Colorado River. Water then flows
from Lake Powell into the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead
downstream. While the Colorado Rockies did not get quite the
snow year seen in Utah, Colorado did see above-average
snowpack. This year’s projections of water flow into Lake
Powell are nearing the 21st century record high flows of 2011.
Lake Powell is a reservoir, unlike Great Salt Lake which is
terminal, so snowpack and water flow into Lake Powell greatly
impact numerous communities downstream.
The network of pipes and massive bathtubs that is the Colorado
River Basin’s reservoir storage system is going to see some
recovery this year thanks to higher-than-average snowpack.
That’s a promising sign for aquatic habitats in need of a
health boost. Overuse and a 23-year drought have drawn down the
water stored in reservoirs across the basin, which spans seven
states, 30 Native American tribes and part of Mexico. Recently,
one of the basin’s largest reservoirs, Lake Powell, even needed
emergency releases from upstream reservoirs, including Blue
Mesa Reservoir in western Colorado, to safeguard against a
looming crisis. As most water officials and experts will
emphasize, one good year of snow won’t solve the crisis.
Monday’s historic Colorado River agreement represents a big win
for California, which only months ago was embroiled in a bitter
feud with Arizona, Nevada and four other Western states over
how to dramatically reduce their use of water supplies in the
shrinking river. The proposition, which came after months of
tense negotiations, would see the three states in the
Colorado’s lower basin conserve about 3 million acre-feet of
water from the river by 2026 — a 14% reduction across the
Southwest that amounts to only about half of what could have
been imposed by the federal government had the states not come
to an accord. … Though some details have yet to be
disclosed, the plan would see the majority of the cuts, about
1.6 million acre-feet, come from California. The remainder
would be split between Arizona and Nevada, with the former
taking the lion’s share of those losses.
More than half of the world’s largest lakes and reservoirs have
lost significant amounts of water over the last three decades,
according to a new study, which pins the blame largely on
climate change and excessive water use. Roughly one-quarter of
the world’s population lives in the basin of a drying lake,
according to the study by a team of international scientists,
published Thursday in the journal Science. While lakes cover
only around 3% of the planet, they hold nearly 90% of its
liquid surface freshwater and are essential sources of drinking
water … The Colorado River’s Lake Mead in Southwest US has
receded dramatically amid a megadrought and decades of overuse.
The Caspian Sea, between Asia and Europe – the world’s largest
inland body of water – has long been declining due to climate
change and water use.
The story Susan Behery tells about dust blowing into Colorado
from New Mexico and Arizona sounds almost Biblical, like cows
dropping dead in their owners’ fields or swarms of locusts
devouring their crops. A hydraulic engineer for the Bureau
of Reclamation in Durango, Behery says she once saw dirt
falling from the sky in the manner of rain. It was so heavy,
she said, it splatted when it hit the ground. When the storm
that brought it moved on, a brown residue covered Behery’s car,
her lawn furniture, her house. In fact, it covered the town of
Durango, the town of Silverton and the San Juan Mountains,
where Behery’s colleague, Jeff Derry, does the bulk of his work
as the executive director and lead scientist for
the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies and
its Dust on Snow program.
Three of western Colorado’s biggest irrigation districts are
not participating on a large scale in a federally funded
program to conserve water, and the amount of water saved by the
program overall won’t be enough to rescue depleted
reservoirs. The rebooted System Conservation Program was
one of the legs of the Upper Colorado River Commission’s
5-Point Plan, announced in July and aimed at protecting
critical elevations in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which have
fallen to record-low levels in recent years because of overuse,
drought and climate change. … The total water estimated to be
saved across the upper basin for this year of the restarted,
temporary and voluntary System Conservation Program is nearly
39,000 acre-feet. By comparison, Lake Powell when full holds
more than 23 million acre-feet.
Weeks after the surface of Lake Powell sunk to an all-time low,
the key Colorado River reservoir is rising more than a foot a
day — on track to deepen by some 70 feet in the coming months.
Spring flows into the lake are among the highest observed in
its history. That could mean long-stranded boat ramps
regain water access this summer. Already, the bolstered water
levels allowed for recent dam releases that sent rapids surging
down the Grand Canyon for the first time in five years. But
whatever optimism the recent boost might create, it should not
extend beyond this year, said Bart Leeflang, the Colorado River
program manager for the Central Utah Water Conservancy
District. Though snowpack that feeds the river is among the
basin’s deepest in decades, one expert noted that it would take
nearly a decade of wet years to refill Lake Powell.
Nearly half of the U.S. West has emerged from drought this
spring, but the welcome wet conditions haven’t entirely
replenished the region, scientists said Tuesday…The big
question is how much relief this winter’s snow will bring to
the Colorado River, which has been depleted by climate change,
rising demand and overuse. A May 1 forecast by
the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center said up to 11 million
acre-feet of water, or 172% of average, could flow into Lake
Powell, a massive reservoir that stores Colorado River water
for Arizona, Nevada, California, Mexico and dozens of tribes.
The Colorado River has shaped life as we know it in the
southwestern United States. Its water has allowed for explosive
population growth and agricultural development in some of the
driest parts of the country. But due to overallocation and
climate change, the river is drying up. What that means
for the future of life in the southwestern U.S. depends, in
large part, on how the seven states that rely on the river
renegotiate the 1922 Colorado River Compact, and whether they
finally allow tribal nations a seat at the bargaining table.
… Over the past year, CPR news worked on “Parched,” a podcast
about the Colorado River and some of the brightest and boldest
ideas to save it. We looked at the history of the river, the
1922 compact, and how the river has allowed millions of people
to live in the West.
Following one of the wettest winters in recent history, Arizona
officials anticipate a dry 2024 as federal water usage cuts
loom. In a joint Colorado River shortage briefing held by the
Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona
Project, officials analyzed current conditions in Colorado
River Basin reservoirs and how they’ll change in the near
future. Thanks to a record-breaking snowpack that peaked
at 174% above median levels in mid-April, the Arizona
Department of Water Resources expects this year to be the
second highest reservoir inflow since the beginning of the
drought. Lakes Powell and Mead, the two largest reservoirs
along the Colorado River that serve the lower basin states of
Arizona, California and Nevada, are 24% and 29% full, at
elevations of 3,525 feet and 1,049 feet, respectively.
With the nation’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake
Mead, drawn down to historic lows, the seven states that use
water from the Colorado River have failed to agree on how to
adapt to its dwindling flow. The impasse pits California
against everyone else. If California’s political leaders had
the political will, they could solve the problem for every
member of the Colorado River Compact by developing
infrastructure to use untapped sources of water. But to do
that, the state Legislature would have to stand up to a
powerful environmentalist lobby that views humans as parasites
and demands rationing as the only acceptable policy. -Written by Edward Ring, founder and president of the
California Policy Center.
[Eli] Schwat and his research partner, Danny Hogan, are neither
arctic explorers nor stormtroopers. They’re more like
detectives. The duo treks out to this site each day to help
answer a mystery: How much snow evaporates into the air before
it has a chance to melt? Every winter, high-altitude snow
melts and fills streams, rivers and reservoirs all around the
Rocky Mountains. Some years, there’s a big gap between the
amount of snow and the amount of water that ends up in the
places where people measure and collect it. Scientists and
water managers have limited data on why that happens. The
disparity between snowpack and runoff has far-reaching
implications for tens of millions of people who draw water from
the Colorado River.
Encouraging news continues to flow about water levels at Lake
Mead. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced that
increased releases from Lake Powell will continue through the
end of May. Water released through the Glen Canyon Dam at
Lake Powell flows south as the Colorado River into the Grand
Canyon and eventually into Lake Mead. The majority of the water
in the Colorado River basin comes from melting snow in the
Colorado Rockies, which had record snowfall this
year. Reclamation says it will release almost twice as
much water this month than it did prior to the recent high flow
experiment (HFE) that helped Lake Mead rise more than two feet
in a week.
Historic snowfall across the Rocky Mountains is helping
recharge some of the country’s biggest reservoirs and provide –
briefly – some much-needed breathing room for the
oversubscribed Colorado River. Forecasts say the melting snow
flowing into Lake Powell via the Colorado River and its
tributaries could hit 177% of average this year, a major boost
at a time when lake levels had hit historic lows. The
levels are now headed up and will likely peak sometime in June,
raising the surface by 50 feet. But experts say the boost won’t
solve or even significantly delay the West’s water crisis that
has drained the massive Lake Powell and Lake Mead
reservoirs – Lake Powell will probably only be about
40% full this fall, far below what it once held.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration proposed a plan to
distribute cuts from the Colorado River and resolve the
centurylong legal dispute between states across the American
Southwest that share its water supplies. Decades of drought and
overuse have brought the river’s water levels to historic lows.
States in the Lower Colorado River Basin — Arizona, California
and Nevada — now must choose between one of three options
proposed by the federal government. The outcome of these talks
will have far-reaching implications for agriculture and energy
in the region.
An extra pulse of water has been sent through the Grand Canyon
this week. The Bureau of Reclamation is running a “high-flow
experiment” at Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona, which means
a big release of water designed to move and redeposit sand and
sediment will make its way downstream from the dam. This
experiment is the first since 2018, and comes in response to
forecasts for an above average spring snowmelt in the Rocky
Mountains. Sediment carried and moved by high flows helps to
rebuild beaches and sandbars, which provide habitat for
wildlife in the Grand Canyon. The restored beaches are also
important for ensuring enough campsites exist for the canyon’s
many rafters and boaters.
Don’t miss your opportunity to put your feet on the ground
this spring in regions critical to California’s water story.
Plus, you can meet our team in person at our annual open
house to learn more about how we educate and
foster understanding of California’s most precious natural
resource — water! And check out our latest Western Water
news article that explores how states in the upper watershed of
the Colorado River are trying to strengthen their negotiating
position as severe water cuts loom amid shrinking reservoirs
and persistent drought.
A huge amount of the water that flows down from Colorado’s
snowy mountains into the West’s depleted Lake Powell reservoir
is rocketing out of pipes this week to power a massive,
simulated flood through the Grand Canyon — the first one in
five years to try to revitalize canyon ecosystems the way
nature once did. Federal operators of the Glen Canyon Dam atop
the Grand Canyon opened jets to begin this surge before sunrise
Monday, sending what they described as “a pulse” of water
whooshing through the Colorado River as it curves through the
base of the canyon. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said
they’ll maintain the surge until Thursday evening, ensuring a
flow for 72 hours at 39,500 cubic feet per second of
The states of the Lower Colorado
River Basin have traditionally played an oversized role in
tapping the lifeline that supplies 40 million people in the West.
California, Nevada and Arizona were quicker to build major canals
and dams and negotiated a landmark deal that requires the Upper
Basin to send predictable flows through the Grand Canyon, even
during dry years.
But with the federal government threatening unprecedented water
cuts amid decades of drought and declining reservoirs, the Upper
Basin states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico are
muscling up to protect their shares of an overallocated river
whose average flows in the Upper Basin have already dropped
20 percent over the last century.
They have formed new agencies to better monitor their interests,
moved influential Colorado River veterans into top negotiating
posts and improved their relationships with Native American
tribes that also hold substantial claims to the river.
When the Colorado River Compact was
signed 100 years ago, the negotiators for seven Western states
bet that the river they were dividing would have ample water to
meet everyone’s needs – even those not seated around the table.
A century later, it’s clear the water they bet on is not there.
More than two decades of drought, lake evaporation and overuse of
water have nearly drained the river’s two anchor reservoirs, Lake
Powell on the Arizona-Utah border and Lake Mead near Las Vegas.
Climate change is rendering the basin drier, shrinking spring
runoff that’s vital for river flows, farms, tribes and cities
across the basin – and essential for refilling reservoirs.
The states that endorsed the Colorado River Compact in 1922 – and
the tribes and nation of Mexico that were excluded from the table
– are now straining to find, and perhaps more importantly accept,
solutions on a river that may offer just half of the water that
the Compact assumed would be available. And not only are
solutions not coming easily, the relationships essential for
compromise are getting more frayed.
With 25 years of experience working
on the Colorado River, Chuck Cullom is used to responding to
myriad challenges that arise on the vital lifeline that seven
states, more than two dozen tribes and the country of Mexico
depend on for water. But this summer problems on the
drought-stressed river are piling up at a dizzying pace:
Reservoirs plummeting to record low levels, whether Hoover Dam
and Glen Canyon Dam can continue to release water and produce
hydropower, unprecedented water cuts and predatory smallmouth
bass threatening native fish species in the Grand Canyon.
“Holy buckets, Batman!,” said Cullom, executive director of the
Upper Colorado River Commission. “I mean, it’s just on and on and
Momentum is building for a unique
interstate deal that aims to transform wastewater from Southern
California homes and business into relief for the stressed
Colorado River. The collaborative effort to add resiliency to a
river suffering from overuse, drought and climate change is being
shaped across state lines by some of the West’s largest water
Climate scientist Brad Udall calls
himself the skunk in the room when it comes to the Colorado
River. Armed with a deck of PowerPoint slides and charts that
highlight the Colorado River’s worsening math, the Colorado State
University scientist offers a grim assessment of the river’s
future: Runoff from the river’s headwaters is declining, less
water is flowing into Lake Powell – the key reservoir near the
Arizona-Utah border – and at the same time, more water is being
released from the reservoir than it can sustainably provide.
Twenty years ago, the Colorado River
Basin’s hydrology began tumbling into a historically bad stretch.
The weather turned persistently dry. Water levels in the system’s
anchor reservoirs of Lake Powell and Lake Mead plummeted. A river
system relied upon by nearly 40 million people, farms and
ecosystems across the West was in trouble. And there was no guide
on how to respond.
Managing water resources in the Colorado River Basin is not for the timid or those unaccustomed to big challenges. Careers are devoted to responding to all the demands put upon the river: water supply, hydropower, recreation and environmental protection.
All of this while the Basin endures a seemingly endless drought and forecasts of increasing dryness in the future.
Sprawled across a desert expanse
along the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell’s nearly 100-foot high
bathtub ring etched on its sandstone walls belie the challenges
of a major Colorado River reservoir at less than half-full. How
those challenges play out as demand grows for the river’s water
amid a changing climate is fueling simmering questions about
Innovative efforts to accelerate
restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the
benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water
agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires.
Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of
California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address
persistent challenges facing the Colorado River.
These were among the issues Western Water explored in
2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed
The Colorado River is arguably one
of the hardest working rivers on the planet, supplying water to
40 million people and a large agricultural economy in the West.
But it’s under duress from two decades of drought and decisions
made about its management will have exceptional ramifications for
the future, especially as impacts from climate change are felt.
The Colorado River Basin’s 20 years
of drought and the dramatic decline in water levels at the
river’s key reservoirs have pressed water managers to adapt to
challenging conditions. But even more extreme — albeit rare —
droughts or floods that could overwhelm water managers may lie
ahead in the Basin as the effects of climate change take hold,
say a group of scientists. They argue that stakeholders who are
preparing to rewrite the operating rules of the river should plan
now for how to handle these so-called “black swan” events so
they’re not blindsided.
Summer is a good time to take a
break, relax and enjoy some of the great beaches, waterways and
watersheds around California and the West. We hope you’re getting
a chance to do plenty of that this July.
But in the weekly sprint through work, it’s easy to miss
some interesting nuggets you might want to read. So while we’re
taking a publishing break to work on other water articles planned
for later this year, we want to help you catch up on
Western Water stories from the first half of this year
that you might have missed.
Even as stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin celebrate the recent completion of an unprecedented drought plan intended to stave off a crashing Lake Mead, there is little time to rest. An even larger hurdle lies ahead as they prepare to hammer out the next set of rules that could vastly reshape the river’s future.
Set to expire in 2026, the current guidelines for water deliveries and shortage sharing, launched in 2007 amid a multiyear drought, were designed to prevent disputes that could provoke conflict.
As stakeholders labor to nail down
effective and durable drought contingency plans for the Colorado
River Basin, they face a stark reality: Scientific research is
increasingly pointing to even drier, more challenging times
The latest sobering assessment landed the day after Thanksgiving,
when U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fourth National Climate
Assessment concluded that Earth’s climate is changing rapidly
compared to the pace of natural variations that have occurred
throughout its history, with greenhouse gas emissions largely the
As the Colorado River Basin becomes
drier and shortage conditions loom, one great variable remains:
How much of the river’s water belongs to Native American tribes?
Native Americans already use water from the Colorado River and
its tributaries for a variety of purposes, including leasing it
to non-Indian users. But some tribes aren’t using their full
federal Indian reserved water right and others have water rights
claims that have yet to be resolved. Combined, tribes have rights
to more water than some states in the Colorado River Basin.
The Colorado River Basin is more
than likely headed to unprecedented shortage in 2020 that could
force supply cuts to some states, but work is “furiously”
underway to reduce the risk and avert a crisis, Bureau of
Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman told an audience of
California water industry people.
During a keynote address at the Water Education Foundation’s
Sept. 20 Water Summit in Sacramento, Burman said there is
opportunity for Colorado River Basin states to control their
destiny, but acknowledged that in water, there are no guarantees
that agreement can be reached.
Water means life for all the Grand Canyon’s inhabitants, including the many varieties of insects that are a foundation of the ecosystem’s food web. But hydropower operations upstream on the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam, in Northern Arizona near the Utah border, disrupt the natural pace of insect reproduction as the river rises and falls, sometimes dramatically. Eggs deposited at the river’s edge are often left high and dry and their loss directly affects available food for endangered fish such as the humpback chub.
Amy Haas recently became the first non-engineer and the first woman to serve as executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission in its 70-year history, putting her smack in the center of a host of daunting challenges facing the Upper Colorado River Basin.
Yet those challenges will be quite familiar to Haas, an attorney who for the past year has served as deputy director and general counsel of the commission. (She replaced longtime Executive Director Don Ostler). She has a long history of working within interstate Colorado River governance, including representing New Mexico as its Upper Colorado River commissioner and playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.
Nowhere is the domino effect in
Western water policy played out more than on the Colorado River,
and specifically when it involves the Lower Basin states of
California, Nevada and Arizona. We are seeing that play out now
as the three states strive to forge a Drought Contingency Plan.
Yet that plan can’t be finalized until Arizona finds a unifying
voice between its major water players, an effort you can read
more about in the latest in-depth article of Western Water.
Even then, there are some issues to resolve just within
It’s high-stakes time in Arizona. The state that depends on the
Colorado River to help supply its cities and farms — and is
first in line to absorb a shortage — is seeking a unified plan
for water supply management to join its Lower Basin neighbors,
California and Nevada, in a coordinated plan to preserve water
levels in Lake Mead before
they run too low.
If the lake’s elevation falls below 1,075 feet above sea level,
the secretary of the Interior would declare a shortage and
Arizona’s deliveries of Colorado River water would be reduced by
320,000 acre-feet. Arizona says that’s enough to serve about 1
million households in one year.
Tickets are now on sale for the Water Education Foundation’s April 11-13 tour of the Lower Colorado River.
Don’t miss this opportunity to visit key sites along one of the nation’s most famous rivers, including a private tour of Hoover Dam, Central Arizona Project’s Mark Wilmer pumping plant and the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. The tour also visits the Salton Sea, Slab City, the All-American Canal and farming regions in the Imperial and Coachella valleys.
Rising temperatures from climate change are having a noticeable
effect on how much water is flowing down the Colorado River. Read
the latest River Report to learn more about what’s
happening, and how water managers are responding.
This issue of Western Water discusses the challenges
facing the Colorado River Basin resulting from persistent
drought, climate change and an overallocated river, and how water
managers and others are trying to face the future.
A troublesome invasive species is
the quagga mussel, a tiny freshwater mollusk that attaches itself
to water utility infrastructure and reproduces at a rapid rate,
causing damage to pipes and pumps.
First found in the Great Lakes in 1988 (dumped with ballast water
from overseas ships), the quagga mussel along with the zebra
mussel are native to the rivers and lakes of eastern Europe and
western Asia, including the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas and the
Dneiper River drainage of Ukraine and Ponto-Caspian
This 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, illustrates the
water resources available for Nevada cities, agriculture and the
environment. It features natural and manmade water resources
throughout the state, including the Truckee and Carson rivers,
Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake and the course of the Colorado River
that forms the state’s eastern boundary.
Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch
poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural
hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants,
rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation.
Excellent for elementary school classroom use.
Redesigned in 2017, this beautiful map depicts the seven
Western states that share the Colorado River with Mexico. The
Colorado River supplies water to nearly 40 million people in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
and the country of Mexico. Text on this beautiful, 24×36-inch
map, which is suitable for framing, explains the river’s
apportionment, history and the need to adapt its management for
urban growth and expected climate change impacts.
The Colorado River provides water to 40 million people and 4
million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000
square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page
Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the
river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the
items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of
significant Colorado River events.
A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect
gift for the water wonk in your life.
Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the
definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the
state. On this updated version, it is easier to see California’s
natural waterways and man-made reservoirs and aqueducts
– including federally, state and locally funded
projects – the wild and scenic rivers system, and
natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of
California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects,
wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the
text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water
projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado
The construction of Glen Canyon Dam
in 1964 created Lake Powell. Both are located in north-central
Arizona near the Utah border. Lake Powell acts as a holding tank
for outflow from the Colorado River Upper Basin States: Colorado,
New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
The water stored in Lake Powell is used for recreation, power
generation and delivering water to the Lower Basin states of
California, Arizona, and Nevada.
In 2005, after six years of severe
drought in the Colorado River Basin, federal officials and
representatives of the seven basin states — California, Arizona,
Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming — began building a
framework to better respond to drought conditions and coordinate
the operations of the basin’s two key reservoirs, Lake Powell and
The resulting Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and
the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Interim
Guidelines) identified the conditions for shortage determinations
and details of coordinated reservoir operations. The 2007 Interim
Guidelines remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2025.
This printed issue of Western Water examines how the various
stakeholders have begun working together to meet the planning
challenges for the Colorado River Basin, including agreements
with Mexico, increased use of conservation and water marketing,
and the goal of accomplishing binational environmental
restoration and water-sharing programs.
This printed issue of Western Water explores the
historic nature of some of the key agreements in recent years,
future challenges, and what leading state representatives
identify as potential “worst-case scenarios.” Much of the content
for this issue of Western Water came from the in-depth
panel discussions at the Colorado River Symposium. The Foundation
will publish the full proceedings of the Symposium in 2012.
This printed issue of Western Water examines the
Colorado River drought, and the ongoing institutional and
operational changes underway to maintain the system and meet the
future challenges in the Colorado River Basin.
This printed issue of Western Water explores some of the major
challenges facing Colorado River stakeholders: preparing for
climate change, forging U.S.-Mexico water supply solutions and
dealing with continued growth in the basins states. Much of the
content for this issue of Western Water came from the in-depth
panel discussions at the September 2009 Colorado River Symposium.
With interstate discussions of critical Colorado River issues
seemingly headed for stalemate, Secretary of the Interior Gale
Norton stepped in May 2 to defuse, or at least defer, a
potentially divisive debate over water releases from Lake Powell.