Boiling Point: Are Dams Good Or Bad?

The latest forecast has arrived for the West’s largest reservoir — and, stop me if you’ve heard this one, it’s not great. Federal scientists are projecting that Lake Mead — created by Hoover Dam, which interrupts the Colorado River not far from Las Vegas — will fall close to its lowest level ever by the end of 2025, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Alan Halaly reports.

Opinion: Colorado River Deal Forever Changes the Price of Water in the West

For the first time in this drought-stricken century, a new price for water in the West has been set – and it’s 25 times higher than what farmers have paid for the last 75 years.

Arizona, Nevada and California recently agreed to reduce their water consumption from the Colorado River by 13% through 2026. The federal government will pay their irrigation districts, Native American tribes and cities $521 for each acre-foot of water they don’t use.

Colorado River: Can Feds Legally Cut IID, Other Rural Water District Allotments?

The powerful Imperial Irrigation District and others with historic first dibs to Colorado River water are once again facing possible threats to their jealously guarded supply. At a press conference at the Hoover Dam on Tuesday, federal officials announced possible unprecedented, across-the-board cuts to all water contractors in three states if levels in its massive reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, fall so low that they might no longer function.

US Floats Options to Reduce Water Pulled From Colorado River

The Biden administration released an environmental analysis Tuesday that outlined two ways that seven Western states and tribes reliant on the overtapped Colorado River could cut their use, but declined to publicly take a side on the best option.

One option would be more beneficial to California and some tribes along the river that have high-priority rights to the river’s water.

Wet Winter Improves Colorado River Forecast; Big Cuts Still Coming

An already wet winter in the mountains that feed the Colorado River got even better in March, providing a significant boost to the amount of water that forecasters expect to flow downstream into Lake Powell this summer.

The latest prediction from the National Weather Service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center shows that the river will swell to 177 percent of its average volume during the all-important April-through-July period as the snow melts and flows into the river and its tributaries.

Photos Shows Lake Mead’s Water Levels as Senator Issues Dire Warning

Senator Mark Kelly recently shared two photos of Lake Mead, Arizona, and the stark contrast between the two fueled concerns about the reservoir’s ability to recover from severe drought.

Torrential rain on the West Coast has filled some California reservoirs to the point of overflow, and nearby states such as Utah also saw their reservoirs benefit from the excess rain. However, Lake Mead water levels remain relatively unchanged and still at nearly their lowest in the reservoir’s history.

An American Water Crisis

These are desperate days for the Colorado River.

The pulsing lifeblood of the U.S. southwest is increasingly parched. To avert catastrophe, the U.S. government will, within weeks, propose historic cuts in water access. It’s a frantic move to protect a river that provides so much: drinking water for tens of millions of people, electricity and food. Lots of food.

Colorado River Drainage Basin Explained

Life in the southwestern U.S. as we know it exists thanks to the water of the Colorado River, which flows for approximately 1,450 miles from the Rockies to the Gulf of California.

The river gets its water from the Colorado River drainage basin, which spreads some 246,000 square miles.

The Colorado River’s Urgent Lesson for Energy Policy

The Colorado River, which allows the desert to sustain itself and powers millions of American homes, is currently engaged in the fight of its life. The rapidly sinking river—victim of a nearly 23-year-long megadrought—stretches 1,450 miles, snaking its way from Colorado through Arizona, Nevada, and California, and finally into Mexico, where it should theoretically dump out into the Sea of Cortez.

How Lake Mead Water Levels Look After Weeks of Heavy Rainfall

California and Nevada have had extremely heavy rainfall in recent days, during one of the severest droughts the region has ever seen.

So what does that mean for the water levels at Lake Mead?