The January 2012 Colorado River District news summary is hot off the press

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You can download the document here. Thanks to Jim Pokrandt for sending it along in email. Here’s an excerpt:

General Manger Eric Kuhn has authored a paper that outlines risk-management issues associated with the growing use of water in the Colorado River Basin.

It is called “Risk Management Strategies for the Upper Colorado River Basin.”

It can be downloaded from the CRD website or obtained by calling (970) 945-8522 or e-mailing edinfo@crwcd.org.

Kuhn lays out the risks lurking in the shadows as demands on the river exceed supply. He explores strategies to minimize the risk of a Colorado River Compact curtailment of the states of the Upper Basin, which are Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.

Also in the paper, Kuhn addresses new storage projects, re-operation of current projects and litigation as strategies to manage risk. He also advocates for a water bank and conservation as hedging tools.

Looking ahead, Kuhn says new agreements could reduce risk, and that the most effective ones would be the most controversial.

At the top of that list is the idea of interstate water marketing, allowing market mechanisms to address regional shortages and the movement of water.

Kuhn also suggests that the Upper Basin states be allowed to store conserved water in Lake Powell as a water bank.

He advocates that dust control, phreatophyte eradication and cloud seeding should be maintained and better financed.

Additionally, he discounts the value of the desalina- tion of ocean water as a big water-supply generator and says it is unlikely that a big project will be built that would move water from another part of the country, like the Mississippi River, to the southwestern U.S.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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