High good, low bad: Mead in July 2012

Posted on | August 2, 2012 | No Comments

This post, which normally appears on the first of the month, is late. Apologies. To business: Lake Mead, the largest storage reservoir in the US, closed last month at 1,115.92 feet, the highest July closing since 2007, when flop sweat about the reservoir and its northern Colorado River feeder Lake Powell became so bad that seven states dependent on the river actually signed a shortage-sharing agreement.

Is this good? No, but at 59% full, the system could be worse as we enter the tail of a lackluster water year. On to crazy news. This week a parochial Orange County water district certified an EIR that it and its private backers wrote to say groundwater mining will be good for the Mojave desert. There is less to this than meets the eye, other than the usual California chicanery. More later. Beauty before slime, beauty being a fine new park.

Late last month, the Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation opened a new network of paths, dry creeks, recreation grounds and observation points along the Colorado River near Laughlin, Nevada. Water Wonks, behold your new shade shelter for admiring the Davis Dam spillway. For more on the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trail project and lots more photos, click here. Warm congratulations to all involved. 

For those of you who can’t get enough of Reclamation PowerPoints, here’s a recent one as a kind of summer appetizer before publication of the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study in September. Double click on the sample graphic for a taste of the projections being run up for presentation to western planners and water suppliers.



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