A dry run for the future of sharing the ColoradoNews Type: Regional Source: Mountain West News
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As major reservoirs on the Colorado River shrink with the changing climate, seven states seek a sustainable future for the critical regional water source.
A crisis point in the region has been approaching for years. When the regional water arrangements were first devised in 1922, assumptions about the river’s bounty were way off because they were based on data from wet years. Even when the mistake was recognized decades later, managers continued to permit new withdrawals.
And as dry heat has enwrapped the Southwest, the great river’s flow has been going down while cities and farms slurp up ever more water. The gap between supply and demand can no longer be papered over by shunting billions of gallons of the river’s waters back and forth among reservoirs in what has been one of the nation’s most significant attempts to adapt to climate change.