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Started by Woolly Bugger, March 04, 2019, 11:37:47 AM
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Lake Powell is critically low, and still shrinking. Here's what happens nextThe future of the reservoir is largely uncertain, but climate science and recent actions by the government are providing some hints as to what might happen in the near future.
The nation's second-largest reservoir is strained by more than two decades of drought, and its water levels are slipping dangerously low.
In March, the reservoir passed an important threshold. Water levels dipped below 3,525 feet – the last major milestone before a serious threat to hydropower generation at the Glen Canyon Dam.
The future of the reservoir is largely uncertain, but climate science and recent actions by the government are providing some hints as to what might happen in the near future.
America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2022 Spotlights Rivers in Crisis Modeb]Today we are announcing America's Most Endangered Rivers® of 2022 and sounding the alarm that our nation's rivers and clean water are in crisis.
Catastrophic drought. Disastrous floods. Fish and other freshwater species nearing extinction, as rivers heat up.
Many people in the United States have imagined climate change as a problem in the future. But it is here now, and the primary way that each of us is experiencing climate change is through water. The climate crisis is a water crisis.
Today we are announcing America's Most Endangered Rivers® of 2022 and sounding the alarm that our nation's rivers and clean water are in crisis. Topping the list this year is the Colorado River, which is threatened by climate change and outdated water management. Thirty federally-recognized Tribal Nations, seven states, Mexico and 40 million people who rely on the river for drinking water are being impacted by this crisis. Also threatened is vital habitat for wildlife, as the Basin is home to 30 native fish species, two-thirds of which are threatened or endangered, and more than 400 bird species.
Colorado River managers announce "extraordinary actions" to prop up Lake Powell
>>>The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced what its water managers call "urgent, extraordinary actions" to prop up Lake Powell's plummeting elevation. KNAU's Melissa Sevigny reports.
The agency will release 500 thousand acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir into Lake Powell this year. It also will hold back 480 thousand acre-feet that normally would be released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead.
Tanya Trujillo of the U.S. Department of the Interior said at a press conference yesterday, "We have never taken this step before in the Colorado River Basin, but the conditions we see today and the potential risks we see on the horizon demand that we take prompt action."
The two steps are expected to raise Lake Powell's level by sixteen feet. The goal is to preserve hydropower at Glen Canyon Dam, and water supply to the City of Page and the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation.
Trujillo says the seven Colorado River Basin states, tribes, and Mexico agreed to the unprecedented move. She adds, it's also necessary to conserve and recycle water. "We need to immediately engage in the development of additional conservation measures, if we continue to see the dry hydrology we've seen for some time
What's the Matter With the Colorado River?Is the water-supply issue caused by climate change or population growth?
>>>The shrinking Colorado River is only the beginning of what will be a major global shortage of fresh water in the next decades ("Shrinking Colorado River Starts to Trim Arizona's Water Supply," U.S. News, April 25). Despite our efforts at carbon reduction, warming oceans and atmosphere will continue due to the accumulated energy in the ecosystem, allowing the atmosphere to hold more water, resulting in less rainfall. When it does rain, it will tend to be torrential, resulting in flooding that we aren't equipped to capture in reservoirs or aquifers. The real challenge is the development of massive desalination capacity to refill reservoirs and aquifers, combined with new infrastructure to capture and transport torrential rainfall.
New Law in Las Vegas Mandates Removal of 'Nonfunctional' Grass to Save Water
Look at the bright side.Unsolved cases may become solved thanks to the low levels.
" A week after a decades-old body was found in receding Lake Mead, authorities in Las Vegas are trying to identify a second set of newly discovered human remains."
For this summer's water forecast, climate experts are looking back to winter
>>>n the middle of a parched summer in the arid West, any amount of rain can feel like a gift. But in reality, those precious summer showers barely move the needle when it comes to water.
"Regardless of what you get in the summer," said Becky Bolinger, Colorado's assistant state climatologist, "what really impacts the water availability in the Colorado River is what happens in the winter."
As a drought-stricken region looks ahead to the summer, climate scientists are keeping an eye on high-mountain snowpack and its path to streams and rivers. Snow at high altitudes makes up the majority of the water in the Colorado River – where this past winter has left low totals. On top of that, warm temperatures and dry soil mean that snow is likely to melt early and soak into the ground before it can get to the Colorado River.
Lengthy Multimedia Presentation at the WAPO -- Follow the river from the headwaters to the Sea of Cortez
THE COLORADORIVER IS INCRISIS, AND IT'SGETTING WORSEEVERY DAY
>>>The Colorado River is in crisis — one deepening by the day.It is a powerhouse: a 1,450-mile waterway that stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez, serving 40 million people in seven U.S. states, 30 federally recognized tribes and Mexico. It hydrates 5 million acres of agricultural land and provides critical habitat for rare fish, birds and plants.