From the Deseret News (Amy Joi O’Donoghue):
Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources received their first glimpse of the findings of the Bureau of Reclamation Supply and Demand study of the Colorado River, which projects a shortfall of 3.2 million acre-feet of water by 2060…
Tuesday’s events puts Utah and the other six Western states that draw water from the Colorado River in the center of one of the nation’s key environmental concerns.
U.S Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor said the impacts of a changing climate are being realized in extremely tough ways on the Colorado River, which has experienced 10 of its lowest flow years in the last 13 in more than a century of record keeping.
“Without a doubt there is evidence of increasing temperatures in the basin,” he said, which are being accompanied by diminished snowpack and more rainfall events.
“No single strategy will be enough,” added Tanya Trujillo, executive director of the Colorado River Board of California, stressing that the seven basin states will have to work together to find answers.
“These coordinated efforts are not easy, and if the hydrology continues to worsen, the tensions will increase.”
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, who described the water resource challenges that can hit in his state, said it is impossible to underestimate the influence of the river on the Western region.
“Water has literally shaped the West,” he said, pointing to geology carved out of sandstone by the river, the farm fields that have sprung up and the towns and cities that have grown over decades to depend on the Colorado River. “It makes the West, as we know it, possible … when you touch water, you touch everything.”