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Part One A: Preparing Comments for Public Participation During the Reconsultation of Interim Guidelines
July 26, 2021
Kirk Walters of the Toledo Blade, 2004.
PART ONE A:
BY DATE: News and Opinion
NOTE: This series will be updated through the preparation of the 2026 Annual Operating Plan (AOP).
- We present recent and relevant news features about the very serious issues that face the Colorado River Basin.
- We present baseline policy documents, climate science, social science and solutions.
- The problem is human-caused: 1) over-consumption of surface water and aquifers; 2) water conservation programs are actually water transfer programs and will not reduce consumption and will harden the embedded demand; 3) the reservoir system can only manage little droughts and little floods; 4) misquided planning and zoning (not resilient and not sustainable); 5) climate disruption: altered circulation patterns in ocean and atmosphere in response to greenhouse gas loading from burning fossil fuels at rates greater than the planet's ability to absorb carbon into the ecosystems of ocean and land.
- The solution is: work with nature's geography and climate; restoring balance is the key objective.
- We recommend that the nonsense stop immediately and get this house in order.
2021, September 22: FIVE-YEAR PROJECTIONS
Note: USBR projections, since 2007, have consistenty fallen between the 50th percentile and the 10th percentile. If this pattern remains consistent through the next decade, then all the reservoirs will indeed vacate; the consequence of mega-drought.
Note: On The Colorado (OTC) understands that projections into the 90th percentile are possible, because global climate disruption includes anticipating swings in long-term hydryology; a swing that could include mega-flood events. For example, in the summer of 2021 there have been devastating floods in China, Germany and Turkey. Wikipedia.
2008, February 12: WHEN WILL LAKE MEAD GO DRY?
"Pierce said the conclusions in the Scripps study are based partially on an estimated reduction in runoff of 20 percent over the next 50 years. He said that figure was used because it split the difference between the 10 to 30 percent decrease in runoff the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts will occur over the next 50 years." Associated Press.
Note: Under the operating criteria of 2007 Interim Guidelines, when a shortage tier elevation arrives at Lake Mead, it also means that the capacity at Lake Powell is significantly diminished. The management of the two reservoirs is similar to a transportation vehicle that operates with two fuel tanks.
2021, Summer: SPECIAL FEATURES
- August 16, 2021 - The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell. Elizabeth Kolbert for The New Yorker.
- August 17, 2021 - Postcard From Thermal: Surviving the Climate Gap in Eastern Coachella Valley In the climate crisis, it’s possible to live in the same place but inhabit different worlds. By Elizabeth Weil and Mauricio Rodríguez Pons for ProPublica.
- August 21, 2021 - The Southwest’s most important river is drying up: The Colorado River irrigates farms, powers electric grids and provides drinking water to 40 million people. But as its supply dwindles, a crisis looms. By Drew Kann, Renée Rigdon and Daniel Wolfe, CNN.
- August 26, 2021 - The Unbearable Summer: Disastrous environmental events are converging like never before. By Ronald Brownstein for The Atlantic.
- October 3, 2021 - Seven States in Jeopardy as Prolonged Drought Threatens Power Generation: A new report from the federal government brings urgency to a veteran geologist’s longtime warnings about the crippling of the Colorado River. By Clay S. Jenkinson for Governing.
- October 24, 2021 - 60 Minutes (CBS). Video: Colorado River Water Levels & text article
NEWS & OPINION
News by Date
- July 18, 2019 - In 1983 Plywood Was All That Kept Glen Canyon Dam from Overflowing. John D'Anna for The Arizona Republic.
- September 12, 2019 - Could "Black Swan" Events Spawned by Climate Change Wreak Havoc in the Colorado River Basin? Gary Pitzer of Water Education Foundation.
- February 7, 2021 - Exclusive: Hedge funds eye water markets that could net billions, as levels drop in Lake Powell. Zak Podmore of Salt Lake Tribune.
- February 26, 2021 - USU Study #6: Alternative Management Paradigms for the Future of the Colorado and Green Rivers. (archived here).
- April 15, 2021 - The Water Report: Saving the Colorado River (demand management). James Eklund.
- April 19, 2021 - The April 2021 24-Month Study was a shocker, but is it too optimistic? Eric Kuhn.
- April 27, 2021 - Pumping up fear along the Colorado River. George Sibley.
- April 29, 2021 - 9th Circuit Revives Navajo Nation's Water Rights Claim Against DOI. Rueters.
- May 4, 2021 - New normals: The Southwest has grown hotter and drier over the past decade, data shows. NOAA 30-year averages since 1901. Ian James of Arizona Republic.
- May 11, 2021 - Arizona Legislature Urges Congress to study feasibility of harvesting Mississippi River floodwaters to replenish Colorado River supply. Rep. Dunn.
- May 13, 2021 - Colorado River water community can solve problems without tossing compacts. Tyrell (response to Sibley).
- May 14, 2021 - The Hoover Dam made life in the West possible. Or so we thought. Timothy Egan in NY Times.
- May 14, 2021 - 9th Circuit rebukes U.S. on Native interests in Colorado River rights. Hank Lacey of Law Week Colorado.
- May 18, 2021 - Arizona's aquifers remain at risk from "unsustainable" pumping. Tony Davis of Arizona Daily Star.
- May 24, 2021 - Amid calls for more water storage in arid West, large dam projects stall. Karin Rives of S & P Global.
- May 24, 2021 - Some experts welcome alarm bells about Arizona groundwater. Tony Davis for Arizona Daily Star.
- May 27, 2021 - Predicting the future: Science Moab speaks with Dr. Kevin Wheeler about the future of the Colorado River in Moab Sun News.
- May 27, 2021 - Epic drought tests Hoover Dam as water levels In Lake Mead plummet. Ian James of Arizona Republic.
- May 29, 2021 - Once again, Arizona hopes to import out-of-state water in face of crisis. Tony Davis of Arizona Daily Star.
- June 2, 2021 - Foreign firms sucking "virtual" water from America's parched Southwest. Diana Kruz of Mother Jones.
- June 2, 2021 - Mega-Dairies: Disappearing wells and Arizona's deepening water crisis. Tony Davis in The Guardian.
- June 2, 2021 - Amid dire Colorado River outlook States plan to tap their Lake Mead savings accounts. Brett Walton of Circle of Blue.
- June 6, 2021 - Dry times, dire consequences, poor runoff, adds to water woes. Dennis Webb of Grand Junction's Daily Sentinel.
- June 10, 2021 - Red Alert: Lake Mead declines to new low as Colorado River crisis deepens. Ian James of Arizona Republic.
- June 11, 2021 - How to save the Salton Sea: Proposal to import seawater across California desert is biggest since Hoover Dam. Gustavo Solis of The Desert Sun.
- June 11, 2021 - 'Worse-case' CAP shortages threaten the Tucson aquifer's delicate balance. Tony Davis of Arizona Daily Star.
- June 13, 2021 - Lake Powell Pipeline targets water promised to Utes in scheme Tribe sees as another racially based scheme. Emma Penrod and special for Salt Lake Tribune.
- June 14, 2021 - Salton Sea, long a disaster, is on the brink of major collapse. OpEd by Frank Ruiz in The Desert Sun.
- June 14, 2021 - Governor Cox is eager for a nuclear future: Utahn's should tell him why we're not. Robert Gehrke of Salt Lake Tribune.
- June 18, 2021 - If Lake Powell’s Water Levels Keep Falling, A Multi-State Reservoir Release May Be Needed. Michael Elizabeth Sakas of Colorado Public Radio.
- June 18, 2021 - West Risks Blackouts as Drought Reduces Hydroelectric Power. Katherine Blunt and Jim Carlton of the Wall Street Journal.
- June 19, 2021 - Las Vegas Pushes Land Swap to Balance Growth and Conservation. Sam Metz of Associated Press.
- June 18, 2021 - The West has a dangerous lack of water and will:The management strategy to slow the draining of Lake Mead does not appear to be working.. Todd Fitchette of Farm Press.
- June 18, 2021 - Extreme Heat Wave Threatens Vulnerable Communities In The West: Heat is responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than all other natural disasters combined. Anita Snow of Associated Press.
- June 27, 2021 - Here's What You Need To Know About Lake Mead's Falling Water Levels. Hillary Davis of Las Vegas Sun News.
- June 28, 2021 - OpEd: Lake Mead is dropping. Time to think about Worst Case Scenario? Joanna Allhands in Arizona Republic.
- July 1, 2021 - 'Megadrought' Along Border Strains US - Mexico Water Relation. Varady et al from The Conversation.
- July 2, 2021 - The Colorado River is shrinking: hard choices lie ahead this scientist warns. Erik Stokstad of AAAS.
- July 15, 2021 - Press coverage combined. A press conference at Hoover Dam. Coalition of citizens and elected officials. And this story in Moab Sun News.
- July 19, 2021 - Conservation Groups Want Feds to Investigate Water Districts Use of Federal Funds. Owen Tucker-Smith & Brian Maffly of the Salt Lake Tribune. Group Letter to the U.S. Inspector General.
- July 19, 2021 - Lake Meads Water Shortage Sign Of Peril For Southwest. Timothy O'Brien; Bloomberg.
- July 20, 2021 - OpEd: Feeling The California Drought On My Family Farm. David Massumoto; LAT.
- July 20, 2021 - Drought In Utah Town Halts Growth. Jack Healy; NYT.
- July 21, 2021 - OpEd: The Thirsty West's Dreaded Water Crisis Is Here. David Von Drehle; WaPo.
- July 22, 2021 - Twelve feature stories about evacuating upper basin reservoirs to protect hydropower production at Glen Canyon Dam.
- July 23, 2021 - Is the Colorado River 'Stress Test' Stressful Enough? Brad Udall & John Fleck.
- July 23, 2021 - Lake Powell Level about to Hit Historic Low as West's Water Crisis Deepens. Brian Maffly of Salt Lake Tribune.
- July 23, 2021 - Demand management discussions continue amid worsening Colorado River crisis. Heather Sackett at Aspen Journalism.
- July 25, 2021 - Three Part Series: Drought on the Colorado River. By Willy Lowry for The National News.
- July 26, 2021 - OpEd: Arizonans know future they want for ‘Arid-zona’. Leon Kolankiewicz in Arizona Capitol Times.
- July 26, 2021 - Tribal nations are essential to ‘Build Back Better’. Hillary C. Tompkins at Indian Country Today.
- July 27, 2021 - Wyoming looks to store, divert more water as Lake Powell dries up. Angus M. Thuermer of Wyoming File.
- July 28, 2021 - While facing a historic drought, Utah officials don't have a handle on how much water slips through their fingers. Eric S. Peterson in Salt Lake City Weekly.
- July 29.2021 - ‘Climate change has become real’: extreme weather sinks prime US tourism site. Annette McGivney in The Guardian.
- July 30, 2021 - Is Utah using all the Colorado River water it’s entitled to? New state agency wants to find out. Bryan Schott of Salt Lake Tribune.
- July 31, 2021 - Declining Lake Powell water level sparks concern in Arizona town. Blake Apgar of Las Vegas Review Journal.
- August 1, 2021 - OpEd: As bad as this summer has been, it may get worse for the rest of our lives. Editorial Board of Las Vegas Sun.
- August 1, 2021 - NPS: Wahweap Main Boat Ramp Expected to Close Soon. Mike Reilley for Lake Powell Life.
- August 3, 2021 - People — Not Just The Megadrought — Are Driving The West’s Water Crisis. Caitlin Ochs in BuzzFeed.
- August 5, 2021 - OpEd: The dirty dam truth. Ryan Gelllert in Boston Globe.
- August 5, 2021 - Tribes cheer withdrawal of 2 Little Colorado hydropower projects but fear a 3rd. Debra Krol in Arizona Republic.
- August 6, 2021 - Salt Lake has the worst air in the world as wildfire smoke moves in. Scott D. Pierce for Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 6, 2021 - Congress shuts down what activists see as an attempt to fast-track the Lake Powell Pipeline. Joan Meiners for St. George Spectrum & Daily News.
- August 7, 2021 - National Park Service struggles to keep boat ramps open as Lake Powell hits historic low. Zak Podmore for Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 7, 2021 - Lake Powell water levels dip to record lows, leaving tourists and businesses scrambling. Sophia Eppolito for Associated Press.
- August 8, 2021 - From a Raft in the Grand Canyon, the West’s Shifting Water Woes Come Into View. Judy Fahys for Inside Climate News.
- August 9, 2021 - Hydropower Levels Under Careful Watch as Drought Ravages the West. Sonal Patel for Power Magazine.
- August 10, 2021 - As Lake Powell woes worry West, experts call for yet more reduced use. Katharhynn Heidelberg for Montrose Press.
- August 10, 2021 - How low will Ruedi Reservoir go? Bureau of Reclamation warns of potential impacts to Aspen hydro plant, water contract holders. Heather Sackett for Aspen Journalism.
- August 11, 2021 - Can Water Megaprojects Save The US Desert West? By Jennifer Sensiba for Clean Technica.
- August 12, 2021 - First water cuts in U.S. West supply to hammer Arizona farmers. By Felicia Fonseca forAssociated Press.
- August 12, 2021 - INSIGHT-Inconvenient truth: Droughts shrink hydropower, pose risk to global push to clean energy. By Sharon Bernstein, Jake Spring, David Stanway for Reuters.
- August 14, 2021 - Tribal influence over Arizona water growing Brad Poole for Courthouse News Service.
- August 15, 2021 - OpEd: Utah can lead by moving away from fossil fuels, Editorial Board writes. Editorial Board of Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 27, 2021 - Senate infrastructure bill’s Western water provisions worthy of passage. Editorial Board for Las Vegas Sun.
- August 16, 2021 - WAPA: Statement on Reclamation's August Projections for Colorado River. Western Area Power Administration (WAPA's home page).
- August 16, 2021 - Appeal Challenges Federal Approval of Water Contract Threatening Utah’s Green River / Agency Failed to Consider Climate Change Science, Future Water Shortages Amid Megadrought. Press Release from Center for Biological Diversity.
- August 16, 2021 - First CAP shortage for Colorado River declared; more cuts may be coming soon. Tony Davis for Arizona Daily Star.
- August 16, 2021 - In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts. Henry Fountain for New York Times.
- August 16, 2021 - As Colorado River Basin states confront water shortages, it’s time to focus on reducing demand. Robert Glennon for The Conservation; Univ of AZ.
- August 17, 2021 - First-ever water cuts declared for Colorado River in historic drought. By Rachel Ramirez for CNN.
- August 16, 2021 - OpEd: Climate upheaval is upon Utah, and we can’t dither, Robert Gehrke explains. By Robert Gehrke of Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 16, 2021 - "St. George is not going to get their pipeline." Some look to Utah amid Colorado River cuts. By Joan Meiners for St. George Spectrum & Daily News.
- August 16, 2021 - Water shortage declared on the Colorado, triggering cuts to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico Declining flows don’t bode well for Utah’s dreams of expanding its share of the West’s mightiest river. By Brian Maffly for Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 25, 2021, - Forecasters couldn’t predict how quickly Colorado River reservoirs would dry up this year. Scientists are trying to improve their models. As climate change disrupts weather patterns in mountain regions across the world, scientists are recognizing the need to innovative new research models. By Zak Podmore for Salt Lake Tribune.
- August 26, 2021 - Anatomy of a drought: How the West may change for decades to come. Water woes are gripping no fewer than 17 states. By Amy Joi O'Donoghue for Deseret News.
- September 22, 2021 - 'Dead Pool' at Lakes Mead and Powell a real possibility says Arizona Water Chief. By Tony Davis for Arizona Daily Star.
- September 27, 2021 - OpEd: Lake Mead and Lake Powell are clearly in trouble. How do we help? Joanna Allhands for Arizona Republic.
This page is Part One A (news by date)
- Click here for Part One A: By date - News and Opinion
- Click here for Part One B: By subject - News and Opinion
- Click here for Part Two: Narratives - Old and New.
- Click here for Part Three: The Physical and Social Sciences
- Click here for Part Four: Solutions - Climate Adaptation, Sustainibility and Resilence.
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