Stanford Woods Environmental Forum featuring Brad Udall
Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment
University of Colorado School of Law
Colorado River Myths and Realities: The Coming Conflict
The Colorado River is currently in the midst of a 14 year long drought nearly unrivaled in over 1250 years. The river’s two massive reservoirs, Lakes Mead and Powell, are now less than half full. Due to the drought, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation now projects that the first delivery shortages are likely to occur in two years. Further, scientists are confident that climate change will reduce Colorado River runoff by 2050. Water managers also believe that demand will increase because of increased population and warmer temperatures. The current legal system for operating this critical system is not tenable in the face of these pressures. Given that the entire American Southwest including all of its major population centers are dependent on the reliable supply of Colorado River water, what solutions in basin are likely in the near and distant future?
You are invited to stay for a reception following the forum.