The following excerpt is from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. You can read the complete article here.
Not by much: Colorado River system to stay out of shortfall status through 2019
As news reports have indicated, the “August 2018 24-Month Study” of the Colorado River system, released Wednesday by the Bureau of Reclamation, tells at least two big water stories for the Southwest.
For one, it illustrates that the Lower Basin will not be in a shortage for 2019. According to the Bureau’s “most likely” scenario, Lake Mead will finish 2018 about four and a half feet above the “shortage declaration” cutoff, which is 1,075 feet in elevation.
A shortage declaration would trigger a set of criteria in the 2007 interim guidelines calling for Arizona’s deliveries of Colorado River water to be reduced by 320,000 acre-feet.
In addition to those anticipated conditions – inspired, largely, by decades of drought and a chronic structural deficit in annual Lower Basin deliveries – the 2018 August study tells us much about the complex relationship between the system’s two great reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
Water You Talking About? Climate change is worsening water woes across the world, and these complex problems require solutions that cross borders and go beyond politics. Quartz and the Texas Observer are partnering on a nine-part series, Shallow Waters, that examines how the US and Mexico are working together to confront controversial water issues along the border, sometimes overcoming and sometimes succumbing to political tensions. The first story introduces two key American and Mexican negotiators, and their counterparts in the Middle East who face a similar struggle to cooperate over shared resources. (Introduction; First story: Quartz or Texas Observer)
The estimated cost of the Delta tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to re-engineer the troubled hub of California’s water network, has jumped to nearly $20 billion when accounting for inflation.
Tunnels backers say the higher cost reflects the impact from inflation over 16 years, not cost over-runs or design changes, and isn’t expected to hurt the project’s ability to move ahead.
This was posted on the Desert Sun’s website yesterday. A must read…
A lawsuit in California’s Imperial Valley could determine who controls the single largest share of Colorado River water in the West — a few hundred landowning farmers, or the elected five-member board of the Imperial Irrigation District.
But a newly obtained document shows that the farmer who filed the lawsuit,
Mike Abatti, was willing to sidestep that explosive legal question — if he and his family got a special exemption from a plan that could have limited his access to Colorado River water.
Abatti “would be willing to dismiss the present litigation with prejudice in exchange for a binding commitment from the IID to supply Mr. Abatti, his brother James Abatti, and father Ben Abatti with the water they reasonably need for farming,” Hejmanowski wrote.
If the three Abattis had received such an exemption, it could have angered other farmers — if other farmers ever found out about the deal.
“Mr. Abatti is willing to consider different structures and terms for documenting (the proposed settlement) so that it poses the least potential difficulty for the IID in regard to other persons,” Hejmanowski wrote.
EL CENTRO, Calif. – Over $200 million dollars from Proposition 68 and state funds are being invested in the Salton Sea. State officials at a press conference said they’re working to prevent a regional environmental disaster.
West Shores Vice-Mayor Mark Gertz said it’s about time because the area is becoming a major health hazard.
“Because the lives of the residents and the flora and fauna of the Salton Sea basin are life-depending upon that. The local high school in Salton Sea has four times the state level of asthma. School children in mecca are getting nosebleeds and asthma much higher than the state levels,” Gertz said.
Senator Ben Hueso, 40th Senate Disctrict, said he understand the problem.
“It’s not just a Riverside or Imperial Problem, it’s a statewide problem that people should be very concerned about not addressing,” Hueso said.
State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia explained the allocation of the funds.
“It’s broken down into a 170 million dollars that will go directly to the Salton Sea management program for this first phase of this 10-year plan. It is 30 million dollars that will go directly to the Salton Sea authority to begin these efforts immediately. And then ten million of those will go towards the 20 million-dollar cost of cleaning up the new river,” Garcia said.
Gertz appreciates the amount but said that it’s not enough to solve a problem that has a price tag in the billions.
“This will not fund all of the ten-year plan. To not address the sea at large is going to incur long-term disastrous results,” Gertz said.
While looking around the Internet we came across this great article on The Desert Review by Brian McNeece. Please read it as it is a very important take on the water in the Imperial Valley.
Some locals have asked, “What does it matter who controls the water?” It matters a lot. Farmers rightly claim that they contribute the majority of value to
the local economy. They also claim that if they were to control the water, the Imperial Valley would be in good hands….
If you are one of about 500 farmers here, being in control of the water sounds mighty sweet, but if you’re among the other 179,500 residents of Imperial County, you might want those decisions to be made by elected representatives sworn to uphold the public good.
The Colorado River Basin has been in drought for 18 years; how is this going to affect the water that the Imperial Valley receives in years to come?
Colorado River reservoirs expected to be less than half full by Sept. 30
“We’re in uncharted territory for the system,” said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the water wholesaler for greater Los Angeles, which relies on the Colorado River for a portion of its supplies.
“Everything is new, and it’s all bleak. None of it is positive.”
Explore the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from a myriad of sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change.
The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour.
This 3-day, 2-night tour travels along the Lower Colorado River from Hoover Dam to the Salton Sea and the Coachella Valley. Along the way, experts discuss challenges related to what is the most contested, beloved for recreation and meticulously managed rivers in the USA.