water

A Colorado River Showdown Is Looming. Let The Posturing Begin

Mar 23, 2021
(Luke Runyon, KUNC)

 


A showdown is looming on the Colorado River. The river’s existing management guidelines are set to expire in 2026. The states that draw water from it are about to undertake a new round of negotiations over the river’s future, while it’s facing worsening dry conditions due in part to rising temperatures.

(Luke Runyon/KUNC)

 

Increasingly bleak forecasts for the Colorado River have for the first time put into action elements of the 2019 upper basin drought contingency plan. 

 

(Luke Runyon/KUNC)

Nick Cote for (KUNC/LightHawk)

Use it or lose it.

 

That saying is at the heart of how access to water is managed in the western U.S. Laws that govern water in more arid states, like Colorado, incentivize users to always take their full share from rivers and streams, or risk the state rescinding it. The threat comes in the form of a once-a-decade document that lists those users on the brink of losing their access to one of the region’s most precious resources. 

 

David Calvert, The Nevada Indepent

Daniel Rothberg

The Nevada Independent

Twenty-two miles outside of the nearest town (Wells, pop. 1,246), graffiti on a crumbling hotel wall reads: “Home on the Strange.” Down a dirt road, there’s an abandoned car. An arch stands at the entrance of a dilapidated school. It’s what is left of a town that lost most of its water rights.

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