Federal Government’s Short-term Colorado River Stabilization Plan Paints a “Rosy” Picture

Colorado scientist Brad Udall spent hours digging — with frustration — through the federal government’s 700-page proposal for managing key dams and reservoirs in the Colorado River Basin over the next three years.

“I just wish they would really simply say, ‘And here’s how the system would perform under these really bad years we’ve seen over the last 23 (years),’” said Udall, senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University. “If they would do that, you would see that this system crashes.”

Opinion: Painful Colorado River Cuts Are Coming, Whether Basin States Agree or Not

The window to avoid even more painful cuts on the Colorado River just closed.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation is asking states to conserve 2 to 4 million acre-feet of water, just to keep Lake Powell and Lake Mead out of critically low territory in 2023.

And we’ll need a plan to do so by mid-August when shortage levels and other important operating details for the next water year are set.

Opinion: The Lower Basin Inked A Plan To Save Lake Mead In Just 4 Months. But We’re Not Done

The takeaway from the “500-plus plan,” the recently inked effort to save Lake Mead, can be summed up in just three words:

We’re. Not. Done.

That doesn’t make the deal any less consequential.

IID Files Opening Brief in Petition to Suspend DCP

Imperial Irrigation District made the first notable follow-up to its petition to hit the brakes on the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River with an opening brief filed Wednesday.

IID originally filed the petition in Superior Court of Los Angeles County on April 18, 2019. The petition calls on the court to suspend approvals and actions related to the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan until such time an appropriate analysis of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s commitment to the plan has been completed in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.