“Want an expert overview on the #COWaterPlan?” — @ConservationCO/@wradv #ColoradoRiver

The latest newsletter from the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University is hot off the presses #ColoradoRiver #COWaterPlan

Colorado transmountain diversions via the State Engineer's office
Colorado transmountain diversions via the State Engineer’s office

Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

“CONCEPTUAL AGREEMENT” ON FUTURE TRANSMOUNTAIN DIVERSIONS RELEASED
Colorado’s Inter-basin Compact Committee has released a draft conceptual agreement on how additional Colorado River water could be sent East “under the right circumstances.” Central to the draft agreement, which is being circulated for comment, is that the East Slope recognizes that a new transmountain diversion may not be able to deliver water every year and must be used along with back-up non-West Slope sources of water.

The document is available here, and includes an annotated bibliography that summarizes many of the studies, pilot projects and white papers that have been developed over years of debate over how to meet Colorado’s future water needs. Feedback can be submitted via the Colorado’s Water Plan website, which contains draft chapters and information on the individual basin plans that were due at the end of July. The CO legislature’s Water Resources Review Committee is also holding hearings on the plan around the state. See the schedule here.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here and here.

California’s catastrophic drought keeps getting worse — The Washington Post

West Drought Monitor July 29, 2014
West Drought Monitor July 29, 2014

From The Washington Post (Mark Berman):

The historic drought that has been plaguing California has somehow gotten even worse. On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than half of the state is now in experiencing “exceptional” drought, the most severe category available. And most of the state – 81 percent – currently has one of the two most intense levels of drought…

The drought’s incredible three-year duration has nearly depleted both the state’s topsoil moisture and subsoil moisture reserves, according to Brad Rippey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who wrote the Drought Monitor report. And California is now short more than a full year’s worth of reservoir water, he wrote.