Colorado River Basin

Wilderness Workshop

Today's community calendar for Wednesday,March 6th is underwritten by Sopris Liquor and Wine on the corner of 133 and Main in Carbondale. For a list of today's events like Naturalist Nights at The Third Street Center, featuring How Changing Climate is Affecting Wildflowers and Pollinators in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, follow the headline...

States that rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies are currently unable to finish a series of agreements that would keep its biggest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, from dropping to levels not seen since they were filled decades ago.

Five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nevada — are done. The country of Mexico has also completed its portion. But California and Arizona failed to meet a Jan. 31 federal government deadline to wrap up negotiations and sign a final agreement.

The seven states that rely on the Colorado River are trying to finalize details on how use less of its water. Currently all eyes are on Arizona, which has a had a tough time agreeing how to dole out cuts to water supplies.

On the first day of the legislative session, water led Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's State of the State address. More specifically, he wants a drought plan finished — one that keeps the Colorado River system at healthy levels.

Following one of the hottest and driest years on record, the Colorado River and its tributaries throughout the western U.S. are likely headed for another year of low water.

That’s according to an analysis by the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado Boulder. Researcher Jeff Lukas, who authored the briefing, says water managers throughout the Colorado River watershed should brace themselves for diminished streams and the decreasing likelihood of filling the reservoirs left depleted at the end of 2018.

The briefing relies on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service among others.

On stage in a conference room at Las Vegas's Caesars Palace, Keith Moses said coming to terms with the limits of the Colorado River is like losing a loved one.

"It reminds me of the seven stages of grief," Moses said. "Because I think we've been in denial for a long time."

Moses is vice chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, a group of four tribes near Parker, Arizona. He was speaking at the annual Colorado River Water Users Association meeting.

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.

Fear can be a powerful motivator.

The mention of one plausible future scenario along the Colorado River is enough to make some water managers in the West break into a sweat. It’s called the Compact Call, and even though it’s never happened — and is years away from ever happening — its invocation conjures up dystopian imagery of a southwest battling over scarce water supplies.

Carbondale Public Arts Commission

Here’s your community calendar for Thursday, May 31st, underwritten by Sopris Liquor and Wine, at the corner of 133 and Main in Carbondale.  For a list of today's events like Colorado River Districts Roaring Fork Valley's State of the Rivers Meeting at The Third Street Center follow the headline...

Sonoran Institute

Last year, the Sonoran Institute and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy launched a new program to address the lack of integration between land use planning and water management within the Colorado River basin. KDNK’s Raleigh Burleigh spoke with Jeremy Stapleton, program director for Resilient Communities and Watersheds to learn more.