Lake Powell and Lake Mead could collapse without more water cuts along the Colorado River

Low water levels at Lake Powell
Low water levels at Lake Powell. Photo by Kristin Murphy

Some new research points to a collapse of Lake Mead and Lake Powell if neither the upper nor lower Colorado River Basin states sacrifice to cut water use.

If neither side blinks, and neither side were to seriously reduce its use, then the system will go to dead pool,” said the Director of Utah State University’s Center for Colorado River Studies.

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A week ago, Lake Mead’s water level dropped to historic lows. Increasing flow from the Colorado River would help replenish Lakes Mead as well as Lake Powell, which also generates hydroelectricity.

A basin-wide water supply crisis is occurring because of decreased watershed runoff caused by a warming climate and legal and water management policies that allow systematic overuse,” the authors write.

A possible solution suggested by the study authors is a deal between the Colorado River Basin’s upper and lower basin states. Namely, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico would agree not to conduct any more water development projects. In turn, the lower basin states — California, Arizona, and Nevada, along with northwest New Mexico — agree to more reductions.

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We identified that if upper basin uses do not decrease, then the lower basin would have to reduce its consumptive uses on the order of 2 to 4 million acre-feet per year,” said Dr. Schmit. “Which is an extremely large number for a basin (the lower) that supplies some of the most vibrant economies in the nation, and grows the nation’s winter vegetables.

But the upper basin states have long argued they shouldn’t shoulder the whole load. Especially when they use less water than the lower states.

At the same time, the upper basin, which has traditionally used much less water than the lower basin, seeks to hold onto the smaller amounts of water that are used,” Schmidt said.

Sacrifices from each of the Colorado River Basin states

However, agriculture is among the biggest water users of upper basin water.

Dr. Schmidt said he thinks the solution is going to come in sacrifices from both sides.

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I think that it is inevitable that cuts in agricultural water use have to occur in the upper basin, at the same time that the lower basin efficiently uses its water,” he said.

This all comes after the Bureau of Reclamation announced that the two sides have until mid-August to finalize a plan. That, or they will make the 2 to 4 million acre-feet in water cuts.

So long as we continue to point at the other guy, and say we have a problem and it’s the other guy’s responsibility to solve the problem, I don’t think we’re going to get where we need to get,” Schmidt said. [ Science, KSLNewsRadio]

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  1. @OverHere,

    • North American snowpack has NOT all but disappeared. That’s rubbish.

    • Our creeks and tributaries (where I live) do feed the Colorado river, and they were flash flooding frequently over the last two weeks.

    Yes, I agree. They do want to depopulate the world, per the now destroyed georgia guidestones. Vaxx bioweapons, VAIDS.

    Yes, I agree. They do weather mods and bring drought and rain to areas which may not need rain or drought.

  2. “No mention of flash flooding and severe rain I call Bullshit! ”

    These reservoirs are not fed from surface run-off. They are fed from snowpack. And North America snowpack has all but disappeared.

    I agree with you…. It is a man-made de-population mechanism. Most California reservoirs (where I live) actually dump fresh water into the oceans at night. [Hollywood gave us a glimpse of the future with the movie “Chinatown (1974)”. ]

    They also have multiple HAARP-like arrays that keep high-pressure systems over the areas they want to decimate with drought. Conversely, they send record-breaking amounts of rain to areas that rarely get it.

    They also have arrays that start fires all over the world…adding to deforestation…which increases erosion when those unnatural rains hit.

    “Why haven’t desalinization plants been emergency ordered?”

    You still don’t get it. They want to kill you….not help you. And “they” is your governemnt. But don’t worry…they will have a solution for all of the problems they have created. It will only require your soul.

  3. Brad, it’s finally happening. Your catch phase of “you will own nothing and be happy” is popping up on multiple main steam media sources. It’s cropping up on non prepping YouTube pages as well. It is becoming so obvious that everyone is starting to see it. This is when it starts to really heat up in our local communities.
    This Is War! Missiles Launched! Japan Reacts! The Taiwan Blockade Enacted! USA Warning Of War! – Full Spectrum Survival
    We love you Brad from inside Iran to all over world… The world is gone to hell rent increases in Iran
    and 40 percents of people now will have no place to live. Losangeles to London, New Delhi all over world same thing is happening so with world war 3 is already started and China Russia want whole
    New World Order System and WW3 will also has a lot of players Iran wants to hit New York soonly with new atom bombs we told you here. The attack without contact on Iran is is in full progress indeed.

  4. No mention of flash flooding and severe rain (feeding the Colorado river )for the last 10 days. Nope, plenty of climate hoax jargon. I call Bullshit! Why haven’t desalinization plants been emergency ordered? It’s 100% bullshit science and fake news.

    If the lakes are receeding, then it is planned and man-made. It’s to help promote climate hoax fake science! We had at least 2″ of rain last night again, and five more days inbound thunderstorms are forecast.