What drought? These states are gearing up to draw more water from the Colorado.

photo: the Colorado River

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Wyoming wants to modify the Fontenelle Dam so it can use an extra 80,000 acre-feet of water from a tributary of the once-mighty Colorado River. At its headwaters, Denver Water hopes to expand a reservoir’s capacity by 77,000 acre-feet of water. And several hundred miles south, Utah is trying to build a pipeline that can funnel another 86,000 acre-feet out of the river.

There … [more…]

Running Dry: New Strategies for Conserving Water on the Colorado

Running Dry: New Strategies for Conserving Water on the Colorado

Photo: A canal diverts water from the Colorado River to farms in Palisade, Colorado. Ted Wood

Communities along the Colorado River are facing a new era of drought and water shortages that is threatening their future. With an official water emergency declaration now possible, farmers, ranchers, and towns are searching for ways to use less water and survive.

From the air, the Grand Valley Water Users Association canal — 10 … [more…]

The Colorado River: A Lifeline Running Dry

A drought in the western United States created a battle over resources, as private landowners compete with the public over access to freshwater supplies.

In April of 2015, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, announced a series of mandatory restrictions, forcing residents to reduce their water usage by 25 percent in the coming year. But despite playing a massive role in depleting local water supplies, the state’s powerful agriculture industry has been … [more…]

California: A ‘Water Tax’ Is Looking Increasingly Likely

photo: the Colorado River is one source of California water

The Colorado River / Image via Shutterstock. This post initially appeared in the Feb. 8 Sacramento Report.

The Legislature looks increasingly likely to impose a statewide tax to fund more water projects.

In the past five years, California voters have approved over $10 billion in statewide bonds to fund water projects, some in areas could not otherwise afford to improve their own water systems.

Now, faced with perhaps several … [more…]

The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame

The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame

ED: reprinted from 2018 for its still-current relevance.

Colorado River water held back by the Hoover Dam. IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK / ROCKET PHOTOS – HQ STOCK

An hour’s drive from Las Vegas stands America’s Hoover Dam, a commanding barrier of concrete holding back the trillions of gallons of Colorado River water held inside Lake Mead.

The dam is a proud place, built by thousands of hands and with 5 million barrels … [more…]