High good, low bad: Mead in July 2012

There may be less water in the Colorado than in bumper years past but there's a fine new park near Laughlin to watch the water flow by. Plus bits and bobs about California corruption and a Colorado River watershed-wide supply study nearing completion.

High good, low bad: Mead in June 2012

“Pipe Dreams: Water Supply Pipeline Projects in the West” by Barry Nelson of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Denise Fort of the University of New Mexico Law School looks at the demand posed by projects in watersheds already stressed by runaway development. Click on the graphic to be taken to the June 2012 report.

Lake Mead, the Colorado River storage reservoir serving California, the Southwest and Mexico, lost nearly four feet in June, 2012, a month in which a research team from the Natural Resources Defense Council and University of New Mexico published a report that finds five new projects aiming big straws at the river.

Pipe Dreams” estimates the draw of the new projects at more than 690,000 acre feet per year, a drain that would come on top of what the Bureau of Reclamation already describes as structurally embedded “over-allocation” of the Colorado River

High good, low bad: Mead in May 2012


Click on the cover to be taken to the "Aloud" program at the Los Angeles Public Library, where "Moral Ground" editor Kathleen Dean Moore will be part of a panel on western water on June 6, 2012.

Spoiler alert. It’s low bad for the monthly Mead report. The largest reservoir in the United States, which serves Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico, was at 1,119.38 feet  at the close of May, 2012. That’s lower than it’s been for seven months, a mere 44 feet and change above a level that will invoke shortages in Arizona and Nevada. But! Now that doomsayers like me are all cheered up at any opportunity to remind wastrels with lawns, “We told you so,” it emerges that there is a more constructive voice in town. As clarification, it merits adding that the town is Los Angeles and the voice is that of philosopher

High good, low bad: Mead in February 2012

A new University of Nevada game seeks to educate players about conservation by allowing them to play water manager, but denies players population control as a tool.

High good, low bad: Mead in July 2010

Photograph: Pete McBride on the parched Colorado River delta, by Jonathan Waterman. Click on the image to be taken to Waterman's Colorado River Project.

During a recent discussion of water at the Aspen Institute’s Environment Forum in Colorado, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt told a packed house: “The American Southwest is not one of those regions where there is water scarcity. It’s hard to believe, given all the hyping in the national and local and regional press.”

The audience and his copanelists–Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and freshwater fellow for the National Geographic Society, and Pat Mulroy, general manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority (overseeing Las Vegas water)–were taken aback by these statements, writes Jonathan Waterman in the first of a series of Colorado River notes in National Geographic.

Throughout the Southwest, and particularly in a region that I know, the Colorado River

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