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Sun Oct 18, 2020, 02:00 PM

BuRec Now Projects Nearly 80% Chance Of Shortage Declaration By 2025 If Colorado Basin Drought Holds

The Colorado Riverís largest reservoirs are expected to keep struggling over the next five years due to climate change, according to the federal agency that oversees them. The Bureau of Reclamationís new modeling projections, which include this yearís record-breaking heat and dryness in some parts of the southwestern watershed, show an increasing likelihood of an official shortage declaration before 2026.

If dry conditions like the Colorado River Basin has seen since 2000 persist, the agencyís model shows an almost 80% chance of seeing an official shortage declaration by 2025. The chance of seeing the reservoir drop to a critically low level is about 20% in that same time period.

The basin is about to enter its 21st year of sustained dry conditions. The watershed is also rapidly warming, leading to increased evaporation from streams and reservoirs, and depleted groundwater.

The riverís water supply problems are exacerbated by the fact that cities, farmers and industries across the watershed have been overly reliant on the riverís water for decades. The supply and demand imbalance on the river has left its two biggest reservoirs -- Lakes Powell and Mead -- extremely low. Lake Powell is currently at 48% of its capacity. Lake Mead is at 40%.

Ed. - As of today, Powell is at 45.8%, Mead at 39.6%.

EDIT

https://www.kuer.org/health-science-environment/2020-09-16/climate-change-likely-to-keep-hammering-colorado-rivers-biggest-reservoirs-model-shows

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