Colorado River Basin Water Management: Evaluating and Adjusting to Hydroclimatic Variability

Front Cover

Recent studies of past climate and streamflow conditions have broadened understanding of long-term water availability in the Colorado River, revealing many periods when streamflow was lower than at any time in the past 100 years of recorded flows. That information, along with two important trends--a rapid increase in urban populations in the West and significant climate warming in the region--will require that water managers prepare for possible reductions in water supplies that cannot be fully averted through traditional means. Colorado River Basin Water Management assesses existing scientific information, including temperature and streamflow records, tree-ring based reconstructions, and climate model projections, and how it relates to Colorado River water supplies and demands, water management, and drought preparedness. The book concludes that successful adjustments to new conditions will entail strong and sustained cooperation among the seven Colorado River basin states and recommends conducting a comprehensive basinwide study of urban water practices that can be used to help improve planning for future droughts and water shortages.

 

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Contents

Summary
1
1 Introduction
13
2 Historical and Contemporary Aspects of Colorado River Development
26
3 Climate and Hydrology of the Colorado River Basin Region
73
4 Prospects for Conserving and Extending Water Supplies
112
5 Colorado River Basin Drought Planning Strategies and Organizations
133
6 Epilogue
151
References
155
Appendixes
173
Appendix A Letter to Secretary of the Interior Gale A Norton from the States of Arizona California Colorado Nevada New Mexico Utah and Wyomi...
175
Appendix B Guest Speakers at Committee Meetings
201
Appendix C Water Science and Technology Board
203
Appendix D Biographical Information for Committee on the Scientific Bases of Colorado River Basin Water Management
205
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