The Search for Solutions to #Colorado’s #Water Crisis —

River guide John Saunders paddles a boat down the Yampa River in May 2021. Photo via Aspen Journalism

Click the link to read the article on the website (Nicholas Hunt). Here’s an excerpt:

Study after study has shown that as the climate warms, more and more Centennial State snowmelt is lost through evaporation and other processes before it can find its way into our rivers, streams, and reservoirs. So we’ll need bigger than average snowpacks each winter just to keep reservoir levels and river flows from falling further—and unless everyone gets serious about tackling the climate crisis, that’s simply not going to happen. One recent study from researchers at New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory found that Colorado could see a 50 to 60 percent reduction in snow within 60 years. When those same researchers used pattern recognition programs to group subregions of the Colorado River Basin by how each sector will respond to climate change, they found something disturbing: By 2080, much of western Colorado could experience aridity similar to Arizona’s…

What’s even more alarming is that, in many ways, the future is already here. This past June, the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the Colorado River through a network of reservoirs, announced that the seven states in the Colorado River Basin had 60 days to devise a plan to reduce the amount of river water they use annually by two to four million acre feet, as much as a third of the waterway’s annual flow…

Meanwhile, water levels are still dropping and the ripple effects of whatever compromise is reached—or isn’t reached—will be felt far beyond that river basin, including in Denver, which gets much of its water from the Western Slope. There is some cause for hope, however. From new cash crops that aren’t nearly as thirsty to science-fiction-worthy technology for forecasting droughts, there are ways to decrease demand and stretch supply. “You need to have as many tools in your toolbox as possible,” says Greg Fisher, demand planning and efficiency manager at Denver Water. “This is Colorado. Even if you could take the drought and the Colorado River [crisis] out of the equation, we’re still a water-constrained state with a growing population. People need to appreciate what water is for. It’s for life, safety, and health. I think anything beyond that is discretionary, and I don’t know if we’re at the point where we can afford discretionary use.”

4 thoughts on “The Search for Solutions to #Colorado’s #Water Crisis —

  1. The water crisis in Colorado is indeed a pressing issue that requires urgent attention and action. I appreciate your article on the efforts made by various organizations and individuals to find solutions to this crisis. The shortage of water in the state is a complex issue that involves not only the natural factors but also the human-made factors such as overuse, climate change, and outdated water management policies.

    It is encouraging to see that different sectors are coming together to address the issue, from farmers adopting water-saving technologies to policymakers exploring innovative solutions to the state’s water crisis. The article highlights the importance of involving all stakeholders in the conversation to develop comprehensive and effective solutions to the water crisis.

    As climate change continues to affect the region, it is crucial that we take action to ensure the long-term sustainability of Colorado’s water resources. I hope that the efforts made by individuals and organizations in Colorado inspire other communities to prioritize water conservation and develop sustainable solutions to the water crisis.

    1. Dave,
      Thanks for commenting. I agree that there is a lot of work going on to build sustainability and resiliency into the water supply. Climate Change is causing uncertainty in planning. We know Colorado is getting warmer and that affects the water cycle and the modelers are working hard to provide some certainty.

      John Orr

  2. I recently read your article titled “The Search for Solutions to Colorado’s Water Crisis” published on your blog, and I wanted to express my appreciation for addressing this critical issue. Colorado’s water crisis presents a complex challenge that requires comprehensive and sustainable solutions, and your coverage sheds light on the ongoing efforts to address this pressing issue.

    Water scarcity and the management of water resources are crucial topics that directly impact the environment, communities, and various industries in Colorado. Your article highlights the need for collaborative approaches that involve stakeholders from diverse sectors, including agriculture, urban development, and conservation.

    I appreciate your focus on the diverse perspectives and innovative strategies being employed to tackle Colorado’s water crisis. From water reuse and conservation initiatives to technology advancements and policy discussions, it is evident that a multi-faceted approach is necessary to ensure the long-term availability and sustainability of water resources in the state.

    By bringing attention to this issue, you contribute to raising awareness among the public and promoting a broader understanding of the challenges faced in water management. The search for solutions requires open dialogue, informed decision-making, and proactive engagement from all stakeholders, and your coverage plays a vital role in facilitating these conversations.

    I would like to express my gratitude to Coyote Gulch for providing insightful coverage of Colorado’s water crisis. Your dedication to reporting on water-related issues and the search for sustainable solutions is commendable. I believe that through continued awareness, collaborative efforts, and effective policies, Colorado can navigate its water challenges and ensure a secure water future for its residents and ecosystems.

    Thank you for your commitment to sharing important stories and promoting a deeper understanding of Colorado’s water crisis. I look forward to reading more of your articles and staying informed on the progress being made in addressing this critical issue.

    1. Jacoby,
      Thanks for the kind words. Since water is absolutely necessary for life there is a great deal of motivation to find solutions for the long term, particularly when factoring in the future uncertainty due to the climate crisis.

      John Orr

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