July 24, 2009
New Study: Global Warming Threat to Colorado River Supply
By Tim Romano
I plan on floating and fishing one of my favorite stretches water tomorrow, the upper Colorado River near Kremmling, Colorado. It's basically what I consider my home water in regards to a large river... So, naturally a new study on what the effects global warming might do to this river system and water supply for much of the west caught my eye. Thirty million people depend on this single river for all of their water needs, including drinking and of course recreation. The study, a joint effort between the Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA, and CU-Boulder water center concluded that under the most drastic outcome there was a 50% chance that the entire reservoir system would be...
depleted completely - yes, I said completely by 2057 if global warming contributed to just a 20% reduction of inflow to these storage facilities. That's Lake Powell, Mead, Havasu, etc... If warming contributed to a 10% reduction of inflow there was a greater than 25% chance that the reservoirs would be drained.
The numbers indicate a pretty scary scenario. So, what's the solution? Rip up Las Vegas, ban blue grass west of the Mississippi, disallow any new golf courses to be built? Or is all of this just a bunch of hooey?