High good, low bad: Mead in November 2012

"Aquifer Storage and Recovery" technology combined with water trading might just be California's best chance of riding out dry times, but water agencies are unwilling to share their data with state regulators and previous boondoggles demand skepticism that ASR and trades are the most effective protections in an era of climate change and drought.

High good, low bad: Mead in March 2012

The steady rise of Lake Mead, clearinghouse of Colorado River water for the Southwestern US and Mexico, was heartening while it lasted. From a November 2010 low only seven feet shy of triggering shortage declarations, a steady flow into the biggest reservoir in the US throughout 2011 pushed Mead’s elevation 58 feet above the austerity line.

However, in March 2012, the level began to fall again. Look at year-on-year figures from the federal Bureau of Reclamation and it is clear that since 2000 the overwhelming trend has been downward. The entire river system, including Mead, is only 63% of what Reclamation classifies as full.

If there is good news to be had in decline, and there is, part of it is that an innovative landscape architecture instructor at Cal Poly Pomona is tweaking the founding Reclamation mission to “make the desert bloom.” Charged with leading a sustainability studio this winter,

High good, low bad: Mead in January 2012

Notes about Colorado River snowpack in January 2012, Lake Mead and public comment on the DEIR being circulated on the Cadiz Valley groundwater mining project.

High good, low bad: Mead in October 2011

While we set out to scare each other last night, Lake Mead was all about reassurance. The largest storage reservoir on the Colorado River continued to rise as a result of last winter’s generous snowpack. Allowing for some tweaking by federal river keepers, Mead closed at midnight on Halloween 2011 at 1,120.00 feet.

This is almost 37 feet higher than the previous October closing.


Imperial Valley and Salton Sea

Aquafornia editor Chris Austin's slide show on the Imperial Valley and Salton Sea.
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