A study finds climate change will further reduce Colorado River flows.
warming will worsen drought and reduce flows on the Colorado River, a
key water source for Southern California and six other Western states.
study, prepared by a National Research Council committee, paints a
sobering picture of the future as the water needs of a rapidly
expanding population test the limits of a river system further strained
by the effects of climate change.
The authors concluded that
there was no easy solution. Such measures as conservation, desalination
and water recycling will all help, they said, but won't offer a panacea.
report, which examined climate modeling and tree-ring data, reaffirms a
more pessimistic assessment of river hydrology that has emerged in
Scientists have concluded that historically the
Colorado River system, which supplies water to 25 million people and
several million acres of crop and ranch land, has been drier and more
prone to severe drought than was the case in the early 20th century,
when the river's flows were divvied up among the seven states in the
That period, it turns out, was unusually wet, prompting
an overly generous estimate of how much water would be available to
farms and cities. Ancient tree rings, which provide graphic evidence of
past precipitation patterns, indicate it had been three centuries since
the basin was last awash in that much water.
Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green