CWCB: Colorado River Water Availability Study mapping tool should be ready at the end of December


From email from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (Ray Alvarado):

The CWCB has been demonstrating a prototype of presenting StateMod modeling results as part of CRWAS…The final version will be available, along with all data results at the end of December.

Here’s a report about the prototype demonstration at last week’s Arkansas Basin Roundtable meeting, from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The interactive map also lets users know what kinds of data are available at any of 2,200 points throughout the watershed, said Ray Alvarado, of the CWCB staff. He demonstrated a model for the Arkansas Basin Roundtable last week. “Using the historical data, it can give you scenarios out to 2040 or 2070,” he said.

The information is important to water users in the Arkansas River basin who rely on imports of water from across the Continental Divide. Each year, about 130,000 acre-feet of water is imported to supplement municipal and agricultural supplies in the Arkansas River basin…

The model allows predicted changes in climate to be applied to historic river operations for similar years to understand how much water might be available, Alvarado said. The problem is that the climate models show a wide range of results, particularly as precipitation levels increase. While most of the climate models agree that temperatures will rise and snowpack will decrease over the next 50 years, they are uncertain about the additional amount of precipitation from rainfall and how a longer growing season would affect natural water consumption.

“I see this as working with the portfolio tool,” Alvarado said, referring to the Interbasin Compact Committee’s attempt to understand how supply projects, conservation and alternative agricultural transfers can work together to meet urban water needs.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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