#ColoradoRiver: 2019 State of the River meeting recap: “The long-term trend is that it’s drier” — Hannah Holm #COriver #aridification

Changing nature of Colorado River droughts, Udall/Overpeck 2017.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Katie Langford):

Despite plentiful snowfall this winter and a rainy spring on the Western Slope, local water experts took a cautious tone at the 2019 State of the River meeting Tuesday night.

Snowpacks and inflow at reservoirs across the state are well above average, but that isn’t necessarily an indicator for the future, said Erik Knight, a hydrologist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

There have been multiple examples of precipitation swinging from very dry to very wet and back again the next year, Knight said…

Hannah Holm, coordinator for the Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University, said while a wet year can give water users a break, it doesn’t change trends.

“The long-term trend is that it’s drier,” Holm said. “The overall precipitation trend is flat, but because of increased temperatures over that same time frame, the amount of water in the river is going down.”

Water users like towns and cities, farmers and the recreation industry are still collaborating on a solution for the problem of less water to go around, Holm said.

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