High good, low bad: Mead in January 2010

Recent rains throughout the Western states supplied by Lake Mead might give the impression that a more than decade-long drought affecting the Colorado River is over.

The numbers below, along with modeled projections from the federal Bureau of Reclamation for 2010, show just how false those impressions might be.

While 2010 has been declared a normal water delivery year by Reclamation, the “most probable” scenario in its model shows the elevation of the largest reservoir in North America dipping near 1,075 feet next autumn.