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Management and water supply on the Colorado River

Sep 16, 2009 - by Staff

Balaji Rajagopalan, Kenneth Nowak, James Prairie, Martin Hoerling, Benjamin Harding, Joseph Barsugli, Andrea Ray, and Bradley Udall, Water supply risk on the Colorado River: Can management mitigate? Water Resources Research 44 (2008), W03425

Today, the demand for water from the Colorado River approaches the river’s average annual flow. As flows are expected to decline with climate change, concerns are rising over storage in lakes Mead and Powell. Using a heuristic model, the authors find the risk of reservoir depletion may increase almost tenfold by 2057, but also find that modifications to current policies on demand growth and shortage during drought can substantially reduce the risk.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER •
U.S. BUREAU OF RECLAMATION • NOAA • COOPERATIVE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH
IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES • AMEC EARTH & ENVIRONMENTAL

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