Colorado River conditions are worsening quicker than expected. Feds prepare to step in. | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado River conditions are worsening quicker than expected. Feds prepare to step in.

Conrad Swanson
Denver Post
Drought, overconsumption, and climate change, are main factors dissipating the amount of Colorado River water that will reach the Sea of Cortez on its journey through the Colorado River Delta on October 24, 2022 in Baja California, Mexico. The flight for aerial photography was provided by LightHawk.
Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

Running out of time and options to save water along the drying Colorado River, federal officials said they’re considering whether to release less water from the country’s two largest reservoirs downstream to Arizona, California and Nevada.

Without enough snow this winter, the water level at Lake Powell — the country’s second-largest reservoir — will drop below a critical level by next November, according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Below that point, the Glen Canyon Dam will no longer be able to generate electricity and experts worry whether conditions will worsen to the point that the structure will no longer be able to send water downstream at all.

Conditions on the Colorado River are worsening quicker than expected. The seven states in the river basin made little progress saving water over the summer and Colorado is heading into its third La Niña winter in a row, likely indicating below-average snowpack. A worst-case scenario, once considered only as a hypothetical, now presents a very real threat.



“It’s going to be ugly,” Mark Squillace, a water law professor at the University of Colorado, said. “The bottom line is there just isn’t going to be enough water available.”

This story is from DenverPost.com.


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