Colorado River Reservoirs Are So Low, Government Is Delaying Releases

With long-term severe drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government is expected to announce on Monday that it will retain some water in one of the river’s major reservoirs to temporarily stave off what it called increased uncertainty in water and electricity supplies.

The anticipated decision to keep more water in Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border, rather than releasing it downstream to the other major reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas, comes as both are at record-low levels after 20 years of drought.

Opinion: This Megadrought’s Dry Years to Come

Reading the tree rings from Montana to northern Mexico, from Pacific beaches to the Colorado Rockies, a team of scientists led by a UCLA researcher has shown that the current long-term drought in the West is the most severe in 1,200 years.

It’s not just a dry spell — it’s a megadrought.

The rigorous study, aided by NASA, shows all that talk you have heard most of your life, about how the lack of rain in these parts is normal, and about how “we live in a desert anyway” — we don’t; we live in a rare Mediterranean climate — is nonsense.

California Snowpack Dwindles After a Dry January

California’s second snow survey of the season arrived on the heels of one of the state’s driest Januarys on record, and officials are warning that a third dry year is possible unless more rain and snow arrive soon.

Surveyors from the California Department of Water Resources gathered Tuesday at Phillips Station near South Lake Tahoe to announce their latest findings. Statewide snowpack has dwindled to 92% of average for the date, they said.