Opinion: What Will Happen to the Colorado River? What We Know About Looming Water Cuts

The seven states that rely on the Colorado River must come up with a plan to cut 2 to 4 million acre-feet of water use.

By mid-August.

And if they don’t, the federal Bureau of Reclamation will act for them.

The Colorado River Needs a Big Moisture Boost. Runoff Forecasts Suggest It Won’t Come From Spring Snowmelt

Spring snowmelt likely won’t deliver the big water supply bump the drought-stricken Colorado River and its reservoirs need, data from the latest federal river forecast shows.

The May to July season is a crucial time for the river, which is replenished by snowmelt running off the mountains on the Western Slope, and the system is in need of a major moisture boost amid a 20-year drought fueled by climate change.

California Drought Conditions Predicted to Worsen in Coming Months, Federal Forecasters Say

Serious drought conditions across California and the West are expected to worsen this spring into early summer, with hotter-than-normal temperatures, reduced chances of rain and increased fire risk likely, federal forecasters said Thursday.

The next three months through the end of June show little to no drought relief, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent agency of the National Weather Service.