Drought

In 2007, years into a record-breaking drought throughout the southwestern U.S., officials along the Colorado River finally came to an agreement on how they’d deal with future water shortages -- and then quietly hoped that wet weather would return.

But it didn’t.

Toxic Algae Blooms in Blue Mesa Reservoir Near Gunnison

Sep 27, 2018
National Park Service

Blue-Green Algae blooms in parts of Blue Mesa Reservoir, 20 miles west of Gunnison, are producing unhealthy levels of cyanotoxins. KBUT’s Christopher Biddle has the story.

Colorado River District


With increasing demand on the Colorado River, water managers are considering the looming possibility of a compact call. This would require the upper basin to assure, by any means necessary, the delivery of 7.5 million acre feet of water to the lower basin states. Last week, the Colorado River District hosted an online webinar to assure the West Slope that such a scenario would most likely take years to unfold. Here, general manager Andy Mueller discusses what’s being done. For Andy Mueller's discussion of the changing conditions on the Colorado River and the potential for adaptation, follow the headline. For the full webinar, click here. The Colorado River District’s annual seminar is on Friday, September 14, in Grand Junction. Tickets and a detailed agenda are here.

Avery Ecological Design

Water specialist Avery Ellis shares permaculture practices and strategies for times of drought.

AH Marsh Photo

Drought is causing problems for Colorado anglers, ranchers, and recreationists. Brent Gardner-Smith, editor of Aspen Journalism, covered meetings in Glenwood Springs this month of water officials from around the state. Here he talks to KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh about impacts on Colorado industries and on Lake Powell.

Raleigh Burleigh

Residents of the Roaring Fork Valley witnessed a rising plume of smoke on Friday evening. KDNK’s Raleigh Burleigh reports on the Oak Meadows Fire and ongoing investigations into aerial fire suppression at night. This report includes comments from Ben Miller, director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, and Latham Johnson, fuels program manager for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Unit, recorded during a media briefing in early June.

Colorado River Basin Watches As Arizona Reboots Drought Talks

Jun 21, 2018

Water leaders in Arizona are again trying to get to “yes” on a deal that deals with drought. This would help prepare the state for future cuts to its water supply if -- and likely when -- Lake Mead drops below specific levels. A renewed effort to achieve an agreement comes after a year of anxiety and gridlock over the future of the Colorado River.

Reservoirs that store water along the Colorado River are projected to be less than half full later this year, potentially marking a historic low mark for the river system that supplies water to seven U.S. states and Mexico.

Forecasters with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expect the river’s reservoirs -- Lakes Mead and Powell among them -- to be at a combined 48 percent of capacity by the end of September. That would be one of the lowest points ever for the combined water storage.

A quiet, rising tension over water in the southwest has burst into the public square.

Agencies that manage and dole out the Colorado River’s water in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico are attempting to publicly shame an increasingly isolated water agency in Arizona. The feud has the potential to either upset, or reignite, negotiations over the river’s future.

Wikipedia Commons

Snowpack that feeds the Colorado River is at record lows as we begin moving into the longer and drier days of summer. Water managers throughout the West are already sounding the alarm about less water flowing in streams and reservoirs. But as Luke Runyon reports, there’s another factor that could make things even worse...

KUNC

The biggest lake in California is shrinking. KUNC's Luke Runyon reports.

As the snowpack and moisture in the Colorado River Basin show large areas of moderate to extreme drought, some are wondering if the term “drought” is misleading people into thinking it’s a temporary situation. Do we need a new vocabulary to describe conditions in the West? H2O Radio reports.

Dr. Jeffrey Deems

 


A new study is challenging the conventional wisdom about spring runoff in Colorado. A dirty little secret about how fast rivers will rise as the snowpack melts, that has little to do with temperature. H2O Radio has the story.