#ColoradoRiver #water Twitter posts August 16, 2022

4 thoughts on “#ColoradoRiver #water Twitter posts August 16, 2022

  1. We the people need to get to work. The federal government must take over the water system. Nevada needs water from Washington. Utah Great lake need water from the snake River in Idaho. The gove we need to start lovingrnor of Wyoming is so delusional he wants to take water from the West to the east. It would be shorter and simpler to take copious water from the Missouri watershed. Kansas Missouri should divert wasted White River and Osage flood waters to Colorado. In turn Colorado should not sap the water from the Columbia to the east. We need to lobby!

  2. The current system is a classic tragedy of the commons scenario because individual users are not assured the benefit of their own reductions in use. For instance, if CAP decides to voluntarily conserve, the current law doesn’t stop other users from making withdrawals until deadpool.

    What’s more, because of the prior appropriation system there is no common shared outcome. Even if the reservoir is exhausted, under current law the most senior users have the continued right to their full beneficial use of annual flow although that would mean junior users like CAP receive nothing. That arrangement disincentivizes senior user like imperial from making an agreement notwithstanding the possible imposition of court mandated QSA style cuts.

    The basin needs to create a Pro Rata system like in New Mexico’s Acequias or an Open water market like the Murray Darling in Australia, or an annual quota like the fisheries in Alaska.

    1. Braelan,
      I think everyone agrees that the allocation method in the Colorado River Compact is the culprit that allowed USBR and the Lower Basin to drain Lake Mead and Lake Powell. It’s the classic paper water v. wet water conundrum. On top of that it is Ag that uses the lion’s share of the water and they often have priorities senior to the Compact. That is where the savings have to come from but there is little incentive under prior appropriation to use less than their allotment. Often when Ag can afford the equipment to conserve they bring more acreage into production. Also, they are pretty resistant to the government controlling what crops they grow and the markets they sell to.

      Traditionally in the West when you leave water in the stream it is available to the next diverter downstream. It is nigh impossible for state administration to “color” the waters in a stream so that they can bypass other diverters. Prior appropriation undergirds all operations.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

Leave a Reply