Posted on June 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The steady drop in Lake Mead’s water level is a sign of the West’s long-term drought.
Some states may see water cuts in years ahead
FRISCO — Early summer runoff is surging high in the headwaters of the Colorado River, but far below, in the Nevada desert, the water is draining out of Lake Mead faster than the river can replenish it.
The giant reservoir this week hit a new all-time low level, dropping just below 1,075 feet above sea level — a warning sign that some states may have to curtail their use of Colorado River water in the years ahead. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, Colorado, Colorado River, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: climate change, Colorado River, Lake Mead, Lake Powell, western drought | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado River Basin snowpack and streamflow forecasts now similar to 1977, 2002 and 2012 drought years
Statewide snowpack is just half of average going into the crucial phase of runoff season.
Don’t miss this year’s State of the River.
FRISCO — Continued drought in the Far West, along with Colorado’s push to develop a first-ever statewide water plan, should be reason enough for Coloradans to take an interest in the state of the Colorado River.
One of the best chances to get a user-friendly update is at the annual State of River meeting, sponsored by the Blue River Watershed Group.
Hands-on water experts will explain how this year’s snowmelt will play out and how that affects operations of Dillon Reservoir and Green Mountain Reservoir — both for water deliveries downstream and for onsite recreational use.
To accommodate a bigger turnout, the State of the River presentation has been moved to the Silverthorne Pavilion (Tuesday, May 5, 6-8 p.m.) Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, Colorado River, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Blue River Basin, climate change, Colorado River, Dillon Reservoir, drought, Green Mountain Reservoir, Lake Mead, Lake Powell, reservoirs, stream flows, Summit County News | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Lake Powell expected to see about half of average inflow
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Federal water managers downgraded their expectations for Upper Colorado River flows by several notches in the past few weeks, as warm and dry early spring conditions across most of the basin nibbled away at the mountain snowpack that sustains the river’s flows through the summer.
The Bureau of Reclamation today said they expect inflows into Lake Powell to be just 3.75 million acre feet during the key April to July runoff season. That’s just 52 percent of the 1980-2010 average and down 1.35 million acre feet from the projections of just a month ago, when the agency was hoping for 5.1 million acre feet of runoff. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, global warming | Tagged: BuRec, California drought, Colorado River, Colorado River flows, drought, Lake Mead, Lake Powell, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 19, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Storage still near all-time lows
A 2014 water year map shows the continuing drought conditions in California, as well as dry patches from Texas, extending north into Oklahoma.
FRISCO — Near-average inflow to Lake Powell the past 12 months helped maintain storage at a similar level to last year in the key Colorado River reservoir. According to the Bureau of Reclamation. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: 2014 water year, Colorado River, drought, Lake Powell | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 1, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Water experts to discuss role of agriculture in Colorado River puzzle
Can ag water save the Colorado River?
FRISCO — A new $11 million effort to keep water flowing in the Colorado River to Lake Powell could up the pressure on Colorado farmers and ranchers to sell or lease their water.
In fact, agriculture is in the crosshairs in Colorado, according to the Colorado River Water Conservation District, which represents western Colorado water interests. Low water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead — the key storage buckets on the Colorado — have prompted measures to put more water in the river.
The CRWCD’s annual water seminar (Sept. 19, Grand Junction) will focus on what that means for western Colorado, with panel discussions and presentations on ag efficiency, the worth of ag efficiency and how ag efficiency works with the chief goal of sustaining ag as a viable industry. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: agriculture, Colorado River, drought, Lake Powell, water | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Widespread western drought continues
Much of the West has been very dry during the first four months of the 2014 water year.
By Summit Voice
As California experiences its worst drought in more than a century, it’s probably not surprising that some stream gages in the northern part of the state are showing all-time record low readings, with 2013 in the record books as the driest calendar year in the state’s 119-year recorded history.
Low streamflow affects water availability for agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses, water quality, water temperature, recreational opportunities, and the maintenance of fish populations.
Recent precipitation has resulted in some increases in streamflow, snowpack, and reservoir levels, but severe drought conditions remain. Without significant additional precipitation, prior conditions will quickly return leaving most streams in the state at less than 10 percent of normal for this time of year. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: California drought, climate, Colorado River, drought, Lake Powell, rivers | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Quagga mussels coating a flip-flop in Lake Mead. PHOTO COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.
National Park Service seeking input on mussel management plan
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The battle to keep Lake Powell free of non-native mussels is tilting toward the aquatic invaders and federal resource managers are concerned the invaders may spread into Glen Canyon.
As of January, the National Park Service reported finding — and removing — about 1,300 hundred adult quagga mussels, and managers at the reservoir said they’re finding more as the season progresses.
In response, the park service is developing a quagga-zebra mussel management plan to help the the agency decide what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive mussels in Glen Canyon now that quagga mussels are present in Lake Powell. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, invasive species | Tagged: Environment, Glen Canyon, invasive species, Lake Powell, Quagga mussels, zebra mussels | 1 Comment »