#Drought news: The mountainous areas of #Colorado and #WY saw some additions to their #snowpack this week, but amounts were near-normal at best

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor.

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

This Week’s Drought Summary

Most of this week’s precipitation across the CONUS fell on portions of the Pacific Northwest, Southeast, and Northeast. Typical of La Nina conditions, the northward displacement of the storm track across the West so far this season has resulted in near to above-normal snowpack across the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies, and below-normal southward. This week mainly saw a continuation of that seasonal signal, with above-normal precipitation falling again along coastal ranges and the Cascades from central Oregon northward to Canada, leading to some minor improvements, mainly in northwestern Oregon. However, this week did see a slight southward shift in the storm track, providing central and northern California some much needed, albeit below near-normal, precipitation. Over the eastern United States, a storm system developed over the Southeast early in the period and transitioned into a strong Nor’easter that impacted much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, with a swath of 1 to 2 feet of snowfall extending northeastward from southern Pennsylvania into southern Maine. In the wake of that system, several short-wave troughs provided some additional precipitation across the Great Lakes and Northeast. Elsewhere in the CONUS, several areas of the High Plains, Southwest, and western sections of the Midwest saw little to no precipitation. However, the time of year has minimized degradation of drought in many of these areas with low temperatures, frozen ground, and little or no evapotranspiration. Additionally, temperatures averaged near to below-normal across the southern tier of States, further minimizing any deteriorations.

Much of Alaska has received near to above-normal precipitation during the first half of Fall, with some sporadic stations depicting some minor dryness in the last month. However, snowpack is above-normal everywhere south of the Brooks Range for the season as a whole, limiting impacts and warranting D0 removal in the Yukon Flats. In Hawaii, the Big Island received beneficial rainfall after a dry first half of December. However, farther west, southwestern Oahu has shown a drying trend over the past 90 days, resulting in some D1 expansion. Puerto Rico experienced a dry final 4-6 weeks of its wet season, which ended at the start of December. Some expansion of abnormal dryness (D0) was warranted, including some D1 introduction in counties with some locally higher deficits…

High Plains

The mountainous areas of Colorado and Wyoming saw some additions to their snowpack this week, but amounts were near-normal at best. Above-normal temperatures were widespread across the region, with the highest positive average temperature anomalies (greater than 8°F) across the Dakotas. These positive anomalies can mainly be attributed to below-normal snowpack across much of the Northern Plains. Liquid-equivalent precipitation amounts averaged between 0.01 and 0.25 inches across several locations in the High Plains Region, with several spotty near-normal amounts reported in the Central Plains (co-located with areas seeing the highest average high temperatures) and portions of the Dakotas, reducing further impacts and degradation. Several USGS stations across the region are reporting near and above-normal 7-average stream flows. As such, no changes to drought coverage are warranted this week across the High Plains Region…

West

Many improvements in the Western Region this season have been designated to the Pacific Northwest due to typical La Nina conditions aiding in a northward-displaced mean storm track. As a result, the Cascades and northern Rockies have accumulated above-normal snowpack, with snow water equivalent (SWE) of 100%-125%. Meanwhile, areas southward have experienced below-normal precipitation and reduced snowpack, ranging from 75% of normal in the central Rockies to less than 25% of normal in the Southwest. This week saw a continuation of the La Nina projection on seasonal precipitation, with the heaviest precipitation (150%-300% of normal) in the coastal ranges and Cascades, resulting in some localized D1 and D2 improvement in western and northeastern Oregon. Additionally, USGS 7-day average stream flows are above-normal, and these same areas are showing surpluses in water year-to-date (WYTD) precipitation estimates. Some precipitation also fell across northern and central California, the Great Basin, and central Rockies. However, amounts were modest, resulting in no major changes this week. Despite the Southwest missing out on precipitation this week, precipitation from the prior week and below-normal average temperatures this week warranted no further degradation…

South

Much of the region saw below-normal temperatures, and the largest precipitation amounts fell across southeastern Texas, extending eastward to Louisiana and northeastward to the Tennessee Valley. Locations east of Austin, Texas, and along the western Gulf Coast, saw above-normal precipitation (1 to 1.5 inch totals, with some localities receiving more than 2 inches), leading to some D1 and D2 improvement near Austin and a reduction in D0 coverage in southern Louisiana. Western and central Texas saw some degradation in D1-D3 areas, with lack of precipitation (less than 10 percent of normal precipitation in the last 90 days) and low relative humidity. Some slight trimming of the abnormally dry (D0) area in north-central Oklahoma, with 0.25 to 0.5 inches of precipitation falling last week, near-normal average temperatures, and 30-60 day precipitation totals ranging between 150 and 175 percent of normal. Some D0 reduction was also warranted in northern Louisiana and central Mississippi, as SPIs across several time periods show mixed weak above and below-normal signals, indicating near-normal conditions. Some expansion of D0 conditions occurred in north-central and central Arkansas, in favor of D0-D1 SPIs across various periods, coupled with 90-day deficits of 4 to 6 inches (localized 6 to 8 inches). Some southward D1 expansion in southern Tennessee was also warranted in areas missing out on relatively higher rainfall this week, continuing to add to deficits there (6 to 8 inch deficits going back 90 days)…

Looking Ahead

The 5-day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) from the NWS Weather Prediction Center (December 24-28) depicts the heaviest precipitation fall across the eastern and western CONUS. In the eastern CONUS, a strong low pressure system is expected to develop over the Midwest, with a trailing frontal boundary extending southward along the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf Coast, and move eastward early in the period, intensifying as it reaches the East Coast. Heavy precipitation is likely along and ahead of the frontal boundary, along with a strong moderation of temperatures, with some snowfall on the backside of the system. After the system’s departure, below-normal temperatures are favored to last through Saturday, before moderating again near the beginning of next week. In the West, a series of low pressure systems are expected to move into the West Coast bringing more than 1.5 inches of precipitation to many areas from Washington to central California, with some much needed precipitation also making into southern California. Later in the period, some of this energy is expected to move across the Southwest and into the Great Plains, increasing chances of precipitation in those regions.

The 6-10 day outlook (December 29, 2020 – January 2, 2021) favors amplified mean troughing across much of the CONUS, with the greatest negative 500-hPa height anomalies centered over the Southwest. This pattern favors an active storm track across the CONUS and above-normal precipitation extending from the eastern Rockies to the East Coast, with enhanced probabilities of above-normal precipitation over the Central Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley. Above-normal precipitation is also favored along the southern Alaska coast and the Pacific Northwest, with mean onshore mid-level flow. Mean surface high pressure over Canada tilts odds toward below-normal precipitation from Montana to northern Minnesota. In association with negative mid-level height anomalies, below-normal temperatures are favored from the Great Basin eastward to the Great Plains. Above-normal temperatures are favored for the eastern CONUS, associated with mean southerly mid-level flow ahead of the trough. Mean onshore mid-level flow from the Pacific increases odds of above-normal temperatures for much of Alaska, with weaker odds in the Pacific Northwest due to a larger northerly component to the flow.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending December 22, 2020.

Squeezed by two megafires: @Northern_Water’s race to save #Grand Lake — @WaterEdCO #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

The East Troublesome Fire in Grand County burned down to the shore of Willow Creek Reservoir, one of the lakes in Northern Water’s collection system in Grand County. Dec. 13, 2020. Credit: Jerd Smith

From Water Education Colorado (Jerd Smith):

Craig Friar and Steve Anderson had seen wildfires smolder and flare before. But they had never seen one run.

Until Oct. 21 when Grand County’s East Troublesome fire sprinted 17 miles in less than three hours, threatening to engulf communities across the county and giving these Northern Water staffers and others just hours to decide how best to move the water agency’s operations center out of Grand County and over to Northern’s emergency operations center in Berthoud, on Colorado’s Front Range.

It was unchartered territory. The backup center had never been used before.

Northern Water is the largest exporter of water from Colorado’s West Slope to the Front Range, serving farms and dozens of cities from Broomfield and Lafayette to Boulder, Loveland and Greeley.

As dark, fire-stained clouds billowed over the towns of Granby and Grand Lake that day, Northern’s West Slope team grabbed operation logs from the Farr pumping plant on the banks of Lake Granby. They tracked down the half dozen or so mechanics, electricians and operators who would need to make quick exits, and figured out how to ferry everyone to safety over the Continental Divide.

The East Troublesome Fire burns in Grand County in October 2020. Credit: Northern Water

Initially they hoped to keep most of their operators on the West Slope by moving the temporary command center farther West to another Northern operations site. But the East Troublesome Fire, already known for its cranky, unpredictable nature, changed direction, blocking access to the local site.

“Those [plans] quickly went away,” said Friar, who oversees the utility’s collection system. “When things blew up on Tuesday, we said, ‘Scrap that.’ Wednesday we had a call and began moving everyone over to Berthoud.”

Spare rooms and horse trailers

Northern Water General Manager Brad Wind and Director of Administration Karen Rademacher offered their homes to dislocated staffers until hotel rooms could be found.

West Slope staff who weren’t evacuated offered trailers to those who had been, hauling household goods and horses. They tracked down housing for co-workers who feared their homes had burned.

They had dozens of calls with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns Northern’s system, as well as emergency managers with the U.S. and Colorado State forest services and the Grand County fire and sheriff departments, and county emergency response teams.

Hundreds of homes and structures in Grand County were threatened or destroyed, and the lakes and reservoirs there that comprise Northern’s water collection system faced the same fate. The agency serves more than 1 million people on the Front Range.

Since mid-August, Northern’s team had watched the Cameron Peak Fire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park just to the north of Grand County, threatening some of Northern’s customers and watersheds, but not the heart of its collection system.

When East Troublesome exploded eight weeks later, the water utility found itself suddenly squeezed between what have now become Colorado’s two largest wildfires in recorded history, with Cameron Peak consuming 209,000 acres and East Troublesome 194,000, before both were declared contained in November.

The Colorado Big Thompson Project, which Northern Water operates for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, lies between the Cameron Peak fire, shown at the top of the map, and the East Troublesome Fire, shown at the bottom left. Credit: U.S. Forest Service

Beyond bad

“It was worse than any worst-case scenario we had,” said Northern’s Environmental Services Manager Esther Vincent during a debriefing with the utility’s customers and others post-fire.

East Troublesome Fire. Photo credit: Brad White via The Mountain Town News

Water infrastructure in the West is often built in high-altitude mountain ranges in order to collect the winter snows that fall and melt into streams.

For years, Colorado and other Western States have planned for and dealt with wildfires and their aftermath: the scorched soils and trees that clog their delivery systems, fill their reservoirs with eroded soils, and cloud their once-pristine water supplies.

But the situation now is much worse. As climate change and searing droughts have dried out the forests that blanket these watersheds, impossibly large, so-called megafires are becoming the dangerous new norm.

These fires devastated California over the summer and the same phenomenon struck Colorado in the fall.

That Northern Water found itself stranded between the two fires in hurricane-force winds was something no one had ever envisioned. There was a sense of awful wonder, amid all the emergency phone calls and late-night planning sessions, at the sheer size of the disaster.

Powering down

There was also plenty of worry. Early on, as the fire raged, Northern staffers knew power to the Farr Pump Plant would be cut off in order to keep firefighters safe from exploding transformers, falling power poles and downed electric lines.

The East Troublesome Fire burns near the Farr Pump Plant on Lake Granby October 2020. Credit: Northern Water

The pumping plant lies almost entirely below the surface of Lake Granby. Without power to run its dewatering system, the plant would flood.

But there would be an even bigger problem once the electricity was cut. The Adams Tunnel takes water pumped from Lake Granby to Grand Lake and pipes it under the Continental Divide to the Front Range. If they couldn’t get the Adams Tunnel shut down before the power went off, it would continue to deliver water, dramatically lowering Grand Lake in violation of federal law, something that would trigger an environmental, legal and political firestorm.

The prospect of such an event is unfathomable, Friar said. “I don’t know what would happen. And I don’t want to know. We don’t even go there.”

They moved quickly to get to the controls that operate the tunnel, successfully closing it down.

Ten minutes later, Friar said, the power went off.

For days afterward, they would rotate the chore of going into the silent pumping plant, filling its generators with diesel fuel and checking to make sure the dewatering system was still working.

In and out

Roads in and out of the area remained closed and it took close coordination with the Grand County Fire Department and sheriff for Northern staffers to get past the fire barricades.

“We had to make sure we could get in, get what we needed done, and get out of there,” Friar said.

If there was any comfort during the tense, fast-changing days that the fires ruled Larimer and Grand counties, it was seeing local residents pulling out clothes and food for those in need, offering up spare rooms, spare trucks and trailers, and extra flash lights, snow plows and generators.

“I don’t think anyone up here ever felt alone,” Friar said.

December has delivered more elegant white snows to Grand and Larimer counties since October, when the first winter storm calmed the fires. The white slopes, covered with charred forests that are now stark and black, are a welcome respite from the gray smoke and flames that enveloped the area just a few weeks ago.

Friar and others know they have four short months, the time until winter snows melt, to engineer and put into action a high-stakes rescue plan for the devastated watersheds and reservoirs.

Roughly 30 percent to 80 percent of Northern’s four major watersheds have burned, they estimate. Cleaning them up and protecting the lakes from the debris that is sure to come after the snow melts next spring will take one to three years of “acute” work, fire officials said, and decades of additional treatment, a process so expensive that Northern hasn’t yet put a number to it.

The East Troublesome fire as it tore through the Trail Creek Estates subdivision on Oct. 21, 2020. (Brian White, Grand Fire Protection District)

A daunting future

Denver Water, the only utility larger than Northern in Colorado, battled two smaller—but still epic—fires within the past three decades: the 1996 Buffalo Creek Fire and the 2002 Hayman Fire, which until this year had been the state’s largest. They spent $28 million cleaning up and restoring reservoirs in the first 10 post-fire years and continue to spend millions annually planting trees and doing erosion control, according to Christina Burri, a watershed scientist with Denver Water.

Northern’s Greg Dewey will oversee the fire restoration work. The prospect, he said, is daunting.

“For years we’ve planned for treatments [for the overgrown forests already decimated by pine beetles]. And the ultimate treatment is a wildfire, but I don’t think anyone could have gauged the extent of this,” he said.

The Cameron Peak and East Troublesome megafires have blazed permanent images in the minds of people across Grand and Larimer counties.

What Anderson remembers most now is returning to his Granby home when the evacuation orders were finally lifted. There, he and his family encountered a strange sight:

The house was unharmed, but the front door stood wide open.

As they walked warily up the front steps the first thing they heard was the fire alarm, issuing one piercing screech after another, providing a crazy, haunting reminder of those days in October, when two megafires ruled the skies, the forests and their lives.

Jerd Smith is editor of Fresh Water News. She can be reached at 720-398-6474, via email at jerd@wateredco.org or @jerd_smith.

Colorado River “Beginnings”. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

R.I.P. Leslie West: “She taught me everything”

Leslie West live at the Florida Theatre in 2008. By Leslie_west.jpg: Wilson Bilkovichderivative work: Nymf (talk) – Leslie_west.jpg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9699842

From The New York Times (Jim Farber):

Leslie West, whose meaty guitar riffs and snarling lead lines powered the hit band Mountain through “Mississippi Queen” and other rock anthems of the 1970s, died on Wednesday in Palm Coast, Fla. He was 75.

The cause was cardiac arrest, said a spokesman, Steve Karas.

Mr. West had battled various health problems over the years. In the early 2000s he had bladder cancer. In 2011 he had his lower right leg amputated because of complications of diabetes.

Mr. West, who struggled with his weight for most of his life, used his ample size to his advantage onstage. In an era ruled by rail-thin rock stars, his physique stood out. His guitar tone matched it in girth: It was uncommonly thick, with a vibrato that could shake with earthquake force.

“I didn’t play fast — I only used the first and the third finger on the fingering hand,” Mr. West told the website Best Classic Bands in 2011. “So I worked on my tone all the time. I wanted to have the greatest, biggest tone, and I wanted vibrato like somebody who plays violin in a hundred-piece orchestra.”

His singing style mirrored his guitar playing, marked by barking declarations that at their most stentorian could pin a listener to the wall. The weight of Mr. West’s sound has been cited as an early example of heavy metal, though Mountain offered a striking contrast to its more forceful songs with other numbers that displayed the prettier vocals and more elegant melodies of the band’s bassist, co-lead singer and producer, Felix Pappalardi…

Leslie West was born Leslie Weinstein on Oct. 22, 1945, in New York City to Bill and Rita Weinstein. His mother was a hair model, his father the vice president of a rug shampoo company. He grew up in the suburbs.

When Leslie was 8, his mother bought him his first instrument, a ukulele, but he became entranced with the guitar after seeing Elvis Presley play one on television. He bought his first guitar with the money given to him for his bar mitzvah…

His professional career began in a band he formed in the mid-1960s with his brother Larry, who played bass. The band, the Vagrants, was a blue-eyed soul group inspired by a hit act from Long Island, the Rascals. The two bands played the same local clubs, as did Billy Joel’s early group, the Hassles…

One of Mountain’s first gigs was at the Woodstock festival, a booking the band received because it shared an agent with Jimi Hendrix. The band’s debut album was released the next spring, with Steve Knight, who came aboard for the Woodstock performance, on keyboards, and Mr. Laing on drums.

The addition of Mr. Knight’s surging organ added warmth to the band’s sound and differentiated Mountain from Cream’s power-trio format. The album’s lead track, “Mississippi Queen,” had what became one of the most famous cowbell intros in rock, though it was originally used by Mr. Pappalardi simply as a way to count the band into the song. The song reached No. 21 on the Billboard singles chart and became an FM radio staple.

Colorado Public Utilities Commission Approves Plan to Advance Vehicle Electrification in #Colorado #ActOnClimate

Coyote Gulch’s Leaf connected in the parking garage in Winter Park, August 21, 2017.

Here’s the release from the PUC via Governor Polis’ office:

Today, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted to approve Xcel Energy’s roughly $110 million investment in new electric vehicle infrastructure and programs. The Commission provided an emphasis on support for programs that benefit lower-income households and communities impacted by transportation pollution, including a rebate for customers who qualify based on income to purchase electric vehicles, to ensure that the benefits of electrification are broadly shared.

“Xcel filed a plan to accelerate Colorado’s transition to vehicle electrification,” said Will Toor, Director of the Colorado Energy Office. “With today’s decision, the PUC tapped the accelerator. The decision clearly keeps Colorado moving forward toward vehicle electrification by providing important investment in EV infrastructure.”

Earlier this year, the state released the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020 that calls for putting 940,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2030 in order to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and improve air quality. This target is part of Colorado’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. The Plan approved by the PUC provides support to make significant strides toward meeting the state’s vehicle electrification goals.

Infrastructure is a key barrier to widespread EV adoption. Xcel Energy’s Transportation Electrification Plan includes support for expanding access to public charging, charging at home, and at multi-family homes. The plan also advances support for fleet investments in vehicle electrification. To help customers understand the transition, Xcel will offer education and outreach programs. The plan approved today largely adopts Xcel’s plan and will result in a significant investment in the charging infrastructure needed to meet the state’s EV goals.

The Colorado Energy Office advocated for point of sale rebates to reduce the upfront cost and make it easier for Coloradans to purchase. As part of its decision, the Commission concluded that state law permits a utility transportation electrification plan to include rebates for customers to purchase new or used electric vehicles. The Commission approved a $5 million pilot program to provide rebates to income-qualified customers that will enable lower-income customers to enter the EV market.

With support from CEO and other intervenors, the PUC adopted provisions that require Xcel to identify communities most heavily impacted by transportation pollution, to work with those communities, and to target vehicle electrification investments in those areas.

“Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas pollution in Colorado, “ said Keith Hay, Director of Policy at the Colorado Energy Office. “The PUC’s decision is a downpayment on transition to cleaner air and lower emissions. We are especially encouraged that the PUC adopted recommendations focusing on equity in the transition to transportation electrification.”

Electrifying transportation will reduce greenhouse gas pollution, lead to cleaner air, save drivers money, and provide benefits to Xcel’s customers:
The Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020 concluded that meeting the goal of 940,000 EVs by 2030 could help Colorado reduce annual ozone-forming pollutants by an estimated 800 tons of NOx, 800 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC), and up to 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. An analysis performed by M. J. Bradley & Associates found that under a high EV growth scenario, economic benefits would total $1.3 billion per year by 2050, with 80% of the benefits accruing to EV drivers and the rest to utility customers.

The M. J. Bradley & Associates also found that meeting state EV goals would put downward pressure on future rates, delaying or reducing future rate increases, thereby reducing customer bills by roughly $3 per month in 2030 and rising to potentially $42 per month in 2050. A second study by the International Council for Clean Transportation found that by 2030, the lifetime cost savings of an EV over an internal combustion engine will be more than $3,000.

Xcel Energy customers who are EV owners will see additional annual cost savings from reduced fuel and maintenance costs of approximately $260–$276.

#ColoradoRiver tribes seek approval from Congress to put water on the market in #Arizona — Arizona Central #COriver #aridification

Headgate Rock Dam was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation and is located in southwestern Arizona along the Lower Colorado River. It forms Lake Moovalya and provides irrigation supply for surrounding agriculture. The dam has ten radial gates which are each 30 feet wide and 24 feet tall. The scope of this project included performing repairs to the stoplog assemblies, lifting beams, and slings that were required for control of water during construction. Once the stoplog assemblies were repaired radial gate rehabilitation could commence. The work included replacement of trunnion pins and bushings, wallplates, removal of radial gate arms, replacement of gate seals and clamp bars, weld repairs, roller refurbishment, flat wire rope replacement, rehabilitation of the gate operating machinery, hazardous waste disposal of paint removed from the gates, and surface preparation and recoating of the gates. Photo credit: Alltech Engineering

From Arizona Central (Ian James):

On the Arizona-California border, where the Colorado River pushes against Headgate Rock Dam, churning water pours into a wide canal and runs across the desert, flowing toward the farmlands of the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

This tribal nation is the largest single user of Colorado River water in Arizona, with rights to divert about 662,000 acre-feet per year, more than double the amount of water diverted for the state of Nevada.

But unlike other tribes elsewhere in Arizona, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, or CRIT, are legally barred from leasing water to growing cities and suburbs. The reasons go back to a 1964 decree by the U.S. Supreme Court that established the tribal water rights, and to a law enacted in the 1790s that limits tribes’ authority to make such deals without congressional approval.

Now tribal leaders plan to ask Congress to pass legislation that would allow them to put some of their water on the market by leasing it out. They say their water can help Arizona endure shortages as drought and climate change reduce the river’s flow.

They’re already leaving some farmlands dry in exchange for payments, helping Arizona deal with cutbacks under an agreement aimed at boosting the water level in Lake Mead…

Chairman Dennis Patch said the tribe can do more to help as the Southwest grapples with declining water supplies, and in turn would benefit by leasing some of its water. He said it’s also time the Colorado River Indian Tribes gain the ability to use their water as they choose.

“We did this as a tribe because we wanted to claim our own destiny with our land and our water,” Patch said during a virtual meeting on the proposal earlier this month. “Our water is critical to the state’s water security as the drought continues and possibly worsens.”

And because CRIT holds the most senior first-priority rights, its water likely won’t be at risk of cuts during shortages…

Leasing some water would also generate funds to repair and upgrade the aging irrigation system on the reservation, helping its farms use water more efficiently, Patch said. He called the plan “a win for Arizona water users, for the river and for our people and the reservation economy.”

CRIT has about 4,500 tribal members. In January 2019, members voted in a referendum to endorse the approach of seeking federal legislation to lease a portion of the water for use off the reservation.

If Congress agrees and passes a law, the legislation would be the first of its kind in Arizona and could clear a path for other tribal governments along the river to seek authorization for similar water deals…

The Colorado River Indian Tribes’ reservation was established by the federal government in 1865.

Its members come from four tribal affiliations. The Mohave have lived along the river for thousands of years. They were joined by Chemehuevi people, some of whom were displaced by flooding on their lands when dams were built. Later, in the 1940s and 50s, the U.S. government encouraged Navajo and Hopi families to move to the reservation to farm.

Many Indian reservations are located in or near contentious river basins where demand for water outstrips supply. Map courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.