As the West warms, a drier Colorado River system could see as much as a one-in-two chance of fully depleting all of its reservoir storage by mid-century assuming current management practices continue on course, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.
The study, in press in the American Geophysical Union journal, Water Resources Research, looked at the effects of a range of reductions in Colorado River stream flow on future reservoir levels and the implications of different management strategies. Roughly 30 million people depend on the Colorado River -- which hosts more than a dozen dams along its 1,450 journey from Colorado's Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California -- for drinking and irrigation water.
University of Colorado at Boulder engineers and scientists were among those honored with the U.S. Department of the Interior's "Partners in Conservation Award" this month for their role in the adoption of innovative, new operational guidelines for managing the Colorado River in drought years.
The southwestern United States has experienced a significant delay in its annual summer monsoon rains in recent decades due to warmer sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, according to a new study at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The study is scheduled for publication May 1 in a special issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate focusing on the North American monsoon system. The study's principal author, Katrina Grantz, is a water resources engineer at the Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES) in CU-Boulder's department of civil, environmental and architectural engineering.
Across the West this month, local newspapers reported that the seven Colorado River states finally reached an agreement on a consensus recommendation for managing the river under drought conditions, as directed by Secretary of Interior Gale Norton.
This was especially exciting news to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems or CADSWES, who developed and support RiverWare, the modeling tool that played a key role in this long and difficult negotiation.