Get To Know Our Rivers

An on-the-water field experience for stakeholders, tribal, NGO staff, and river scientists to learn about and discuss water-supply policy, river ecosystem health requirements, reservoir operations, and the aspirations of users of the River’s water.

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Induction Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Saturday, October 1, 3-8 pm in Green River Utah.
2022 River Runners Hall of Fame

2022 River Runners Hall of Fame

Induction Ceremony and Benefit Dinner on Saturday, October 1, 3-8 pm in Green River Utah.

Colorado River
News
Jack Schmidt traveled to a park in Moab, Utah, on a June evening to explain the Colorado's woes to a few dozen interested Utahns and Canyon Country visitors. To his eyes, Glen Canyon's reemergence is both locally beautiful and regionally troubling.
A Front-Row Seat to a Drying Colorado River

A Front-Row Seat to a Drying Colorado River

Jack Schmidt traveled to a park in Moab, Utah, on a June evening to explain the Colorado's woes to a few dozen interested Utahns and Canyon Country visitors. To his eyes, Glen Canyon's reemergence is both locally beautiful and regionally troubling.

Colorado River
News
Australia Public Broadcasting featured Dr. Jack Schmidt with an interesting out-of-country perspective on problems currently hitting very close to home.
The Vanishing River: USA's Mega Drought

The Vanishing River: USA's Mega Drought

Australia Public Broadcasting featured Dr. Jack Schmidt with an interesting out-of-country perspective on problems currently hitting very close to home.

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Colorado River
From the Fleck Blog: As we begin discussing what replaces the soon-to-expire Colorado River operating guidelines, we argue that there are important lessons to be learned from a careful examination of the way the current guidelines have failed us.
Learning from Failure: Next Steps on the Colorado River

Learning from Failure: Next Steps on the Colorado River

From the Fleck Blog: As we begin discussing what replaces the soon-to-expire Colorado River operating guidelines, we argue that there are important lessons to be learned from a careful examination of the way the current guidelines have failed us.

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Colorado River
The authors look back at the last four decades of water-supply management to pose the central question: How did we get into this mess? Our answer in brief: When the Colorado’s flow was up, we used it all. When it was down, we drained the reservoirs.
Blog: How Did We Get into this Mess?

Blog: How Did We Get into this Mess?

The authors look back at the last four decades of water-supply management to pose the central question: How did we get into this mess? Our answer in brief: When the Colorado’s flow was up, we used it all. When it was down, we drained the reservoirs.

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Colorado River
In a new policy forum commentary in the journal Science, researchers offer perspective on what is needed to stabilize or reverse the decline of reservoir storage by quantifying the magnitude of consumptive use cuts necessary to balance the system, maintai
New in Science: What Will it Take to Stabilize the Colorado River?

New in Science: What Will it Take to Stabilize the Colorado River?

In a new policy forum commentary in the journal Science, researchers offer perspective on what is needed to stabilize or reverse the decline of reservoir storage by quantifying the magnitude of consumptive use cuts necessary to balance the system, maintai...

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Colorado River
Blog
It's no wonder that the map from Reclamation’s landmark report, Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, is often used --- it is clear, easy to read, and depicts many of the key features of the infrastructure by which the Colorado River is mana
Maps Matter: A few suggested changes to the Colorado River basin base map

Maps Matter: A few suggested changes to the Colorado River basin base map

It's no wonder that the map from Reclamation’s landmark report, Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, is often used --- it is clear, easy to read, and depicts many of the key features of the infrastructure by which the Colorado River is mana...

White Paper
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Colorado River
Research
This paper provides an analysis of the accuracy and bias of the 24-Month Study projections for future Lake Powell inflows and elevations and finds that in some years, the most probable projected inflows were higher than what actually occurred by as much a
White Paper 7. Evaluating the Accuracy of Reclamation’s 24-Month Study Lake Powell Projections

White Paper 7. Evaluating the Accuracy of Reclamation’s 24-Month Study Lake Powell Projections

This paper provides an analysis of the accuracy and bias of the 24-Month Study projections for future Lake Powell inflows and elevations and finds that in some years, the most probable projected inflows were higher than what actually occurred by as much a...

News
Colorado River
This is a grim year for runoff. Brad Udall ran through a striking series of graphs of the current state of the Colorado River. The Fleck Blog posted them, along with accompanying commentary.
Brad Udall: Second-Worst Powell Inflows In More Than Half A Century | Colorado River Studies

Brad Udall: Second-Worst Powell Inflows In More Than Half A Century

This is a grim year for runoff. Brad Udall ran through a striking series of graphs of the current state of the Colorado River. The Fleck Blog posted them, along with accompanying commentary.

Colorado River
News
During a live broadcast on the Today show, a popular national TV program, Babbitt opened valves to unleash an unprecedented experimental flood into the Grand Canyon just downstream. As onlookers applauded, water gushed from gaping outlet pipes.
New From Science Mag: The Colorado River Is Shrinking. Hard Choices Lie Ahead. | Colorado River Studies

New From Science Mag: The Colorado River Is Shrinking. Hard Choices Lie Ahead.

During a live broadcast on the Today show, a popular national TV program, Babbitt opened valves to unleash an unprecedented experimental flood into the Grand Canyon just downstream. As onlookers applauded, water gushed from gaping outlet pipes.

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Colorado River
Hidden with Lake Powell's ever-changing shorelines are countless fingers running up side canyons where flat water terminates at mucky sediments, deposited after the lake started filling behind Glen Canyon Dam.
Lost Glen Canyon Wonders Reemerge As Lake Powell Dries Up | Colorado River Studies

Lost Glen Canyon Wonders Reemerge As Lake Powell Dries Up

Hidden with Lake Powell's ever-changing shorelines are countless fingers running up side canyons where flat water terminates at mucky sediments, deposited after the lake started filling behind Glen Canyon Dam.

Colorado River
News
Congratulations to Christy Leonard, CCRS Ph.D. candidate, for receiving the prestigious P.E.O. Scholar Award for the 2021-22 academic year. Christy was chosen from 847 nominees to receive this important recognition.
Christy Leonard Named PEO Scholar | Colorado River Studies

Christy Leonard Named PEO Scholar

Congratulations to Christy Leonard, CCRS Ph.D. candidate, for receiving the prestigious P.E.O. Scholar Award for the 2021-22 academic year. Christy was chosen from 847 nominees to receive this important recognition.

Colorado River
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The Colorado River’s existing management guidelines expire in 2026. The states that draw water from it are to undertake a new round of negotiations over the river’s future, while it’s facing worsening dry conditions due in part to rising temperatures.
From KUNC: A Colorado River Showdown Is Looming. Let The Posturing Begin | Colorado River Studies

From KUNC: A Colorado River Showdown Is Looming. Let The Posturing Begin

The Colorado River’s existing management guidelines expire in 2026. The states that draw water from it are to undertake a new round of negotiations over the river’s future, while it’s facing worsening dry conditions due in part to rising temperatures.

White Paper
Colorado River
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This White Paper is designed to encourage wide-ranging and innovative thinking about how to sustainably manage the water supply, while simultaneously encouraging the negotiators of new agreements to consider their effects on ecosystems.
White Paper 6: Alternative Management Paradigms For The Future Of The Colorado And Green Rivers | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 6: Alternative Management Paradigms For The Future Of The Colorado And Green Rivers

This White Paper is designed to encourage wide-ranging and innovative thinking about how to sustainably manage the water supply, while simultaneously encouraging the negotiators of new agreements to consider their effects on ecosystems.

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Colorado River
Endangered fish in the Colorado River face multiple threats. Their survival is linked to the river’s temperature, which is altered both by climate change and by dams.
Study: Dam Management Matters For Survival Of Endangered Fish In Grand Canyon | Colorado River Studies

Study: Dam Management Matters For Survival Of Endangered Fish In Grand Canyon

Endangered fish in the Colorado River face multiple threats. Their survival is linked to the river’s temperature, which is altered both by climate change and by dams.

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Colorado River
See recent media coverage for our newest white paper, an exploration of wide-ranging alternatives for sustainably managing the future water supply, with consideration for their effects on ecosystems.
Media Reports On The Alternative Management Paradigms White Paper | Colorado River Studies

Media Reports On The Alternative Management Paradigms White Paper

See recent media coverage for our newest white paper, an exploration of wide-ranging alternatives for sustainably managing the future water supply, with consideration for their effects on ecosystems.

Colorado River
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Events
Jack Schmidt offers the keynote at the 16th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium in December called "Restoring the Colorado River."
16th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium | Colorado River Studies

16th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

Jack Schmidt offers the keynote at the 16th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium in December called "Restoring the Colorado River."

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Colorado River
Two Utah river rafters are documenting the changes that come as the massive Lake Powell reservoir hits historic lows. For the past three years, Mike DeHoff and Pete Lefebvre have carefully photographed and mapped Cataract Canyon on their boating trips.
KUNC: As Lake Powell Recedes, River Runners Race To Document Long-Hidden Rapids | Colorado River Studies

KUNC: As Lake Powell Recedes, River Runners Race To Document Long-Hidden Rapids

Two Utah river rafters are documenting the changes that come as the massive Lake Powell reservoir hits historic lows. For the past three years, Mike DeHoff and Pete Lefebvre have carefully photographed and mapped Cataract Canyon on their boating trips.

White Paper
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Colorado River
Effective water-supply negotiation and river management are best served if Colorado River stakeholders are mindful of the precision and accuracy of the many components of the hydrologic cycle that affect the water supply.
White Paper 5: Stream Flow And Losses Of The Colorado River In The Southern Colorado Plateau | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 5: Stream Flow And Losses Of The Colorado River In The Southern Colorado Plateau

Effective water-supply negotiation and river management are best served if Colorado River stakeholders are mindful of the precision and accuracy of the many components of the hydrologic cycle that affect the water supply.

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Colorado River
Long-range planning of the water supply provided by the Colorado River requires realistic assessments of the impact of a continuation of the current drought that began in 2000, of extreme future droughts, and the long-term and decline in watershed runoff.
White Paper 4: The Future Hydrology Of The Colorado River Basin | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 4: The Future Hydrology Of The Colorado River Basin

Long-range planning of the water supply provided by the Colorado River requires realistic assessments of the impact of a continuation of the current drought that began in 2000, of extreme future droughts, and the long-term and decline in watershed runoff....

Colorado River
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Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming that depend on the Colorado River are pushing back against Utah’s proposal to build a 140-mile pipeline that would divert water from the river and use it to support plans for growth.
From AZ Central: Utah's Proposal To Build Colorado River Pipeline Gets Pushback From 6 States | Colorado River Studies

From AZ Central: Utah's Proposal To Build Colorado River Pipeline Gets Pushback From 6 States

Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming that depend on the Colorado River are pushing back against Utah’s proposal to build a 140-mile pipeline that would divert water from the river and use it to support plans for growth.

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Colorado River
The Upper Colorado River Basin is now caught in a vise. We have fixed commitments under the 1922 compact and a declining supply of water above Lee Ferry. Yet many are still operating under the illusion that the Upper Basin has “unused” entitlement.
The Lake Powell Pipeline: Asking The Bigger Questions | Colorado River Studies

The Lake Powell Pipeline: Asking The Bigger Questions

The Upper Colorado River Basin is now caught in a vise. We have fixed commitments under the 1922 compact and a declining supply of water above Lee Ferry. Yet many are still operating under the illusion that the Upper Basin has “unused” entitlement.

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Colorado River
The conventional simplification of the Colorado River Compact’s water allocation scheme is that it set aside 7.5 million acre feet of water use for the “exclusive beneficial consumptive use” of the states of the Lower Basin.
New From The Fleck Blog: The Question Of Reservoir Evaporation – How Much Water Are The Lower Colorado River Basin States Really Using? | Colorado River Studies

New From The Fleck Blog: The Question Of Reservoir Evaporation – How Much Water Are The Lower Colorado River Basin States Really Using?

The conventional simplification of the Colorado River Compact’s water allocation scheme is that it set aside 7.5 million acre feet of water use for the “exclusive beneficial consumptive use” of the states of the Lower Basin.

Colorado River
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Leaders across the west are grappling with how to continue to share a diminishing supply of water from the Colorado River. It’s a wicked problem, one that Jack Schmidt, director of the Center for Colorado River Studies, has been wrestling with for years.
Managers Turn To USU Water Experts To Understand Dynamics Of A Dwindling Colorado River Supply | Colorado River Studies

Managers Turn To USU Water Experts To Understand Dynamics Of A Dwindling Colorado River Supply

Leaders across the west are grappling with how to continue to share a diminishing supply of water from the Colorado River. It’s a wicked problem, one that Jack Schmidt, director of the Center for Colorado River Studies, has been wrestling with for years....

Colorado River
News
On New Year’s Day in 2018, Paul Kehmeier and his father drove up Grand Mesa until they got to the county line, 10,000 feet above sea level. There wasn’t enough snow to even cover the grass.
Washington Post: This Giant Climate Hot Spot Is Robbing The West Of Its Water | Colorado River Studies

Washington Post: This Giant Climate Hot Spot Is Robbing The West Of Its Water

On New Year’s Day in 2018, Paul Kehmeier and his father drove up Grand Mesa until they got to the county line, 10,000 feet above sea level. There wasn’t enough snow to even cover the grass.

Colorado River
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Events
Sara Goeking and David Tarboton (Director, Utah Water Research Lab), reviewed 78 recent studies of streamflow and snowpack response to forest disturbances, and reassessed the question: Does water yield or snowpack increase after forest disturbance?
Sara Goeking: Linkages Between Forests, Snowpack, And Streamflow In Western Coniferous Forests | Colorado River Studies

Sara Goeking: Linkages Between Forests, Snowpack, And Streamflow In Western Coniferous Forests

Sara Goeking and David Tarboton (Director, Utah Water Research Lab), reviewed 78 recent studies of streamflow and snowpack response to forest disturbances, and reassessed the question: Does water yield or snowpack increase after forest disturbance?

Colorado River
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River channels change in response to natural and human-caused fluctuations in streamflow and sediment supply. Predicting how the channel might change is an important and challenging part of managing a river system.
New Research: A Better Way To Measure Uncertainty With Aerial Photos | Colorado River Studies

New Research: A Better Way To Measure Uncertainty With Aerial Photos

River channels change in response to natural and human-caused fluctuations in streamflow and sediment supply. Predicting how the channel might change is an important and challenging part of managing a river system.

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Colorado River
Charismatic is not the best word to describe the humpback chub, a fish with a frowny eel face jammed onto a sportfish body in a way that suggests evolution has a sense of humor.
Inside Climate News: Humpback Chub ‘Alien Abductions’ Help Frame The Future Of The Colorado River | Colorado River Studies

Inside Climate News: Humpback Chub ‘Alien Abductions’ Help Frame The Future Of The Colorado River

Charismatic is not the best word to describe the humpback chub, a fish with a frowny eel face jammed onto a sportfish body in a way that suggests evolution has a sense of humor.

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Colorado River
Schmidt said. "When it’s hot and dry, as it was this year, he said, more runoff is soaked up by dry ground. More water is taken up by plants and more evaporates off the landscape. Snow can also be lost to sublimation, changing directly into water vapor.
From AZ Central: Lake Mead's Low Level Will Trigger Water Cutbacks | Colorado River Studies

From AZ Central: Lake Mead's Low Level Will Trigger Water Cutbacks

Schmidt said. "When it’s hot and dry, as it was this year, he said, more runoff is soaked up by dry ground. More water is taken up by plants and more evaporates off the landscape. Snow can also be lost to sublimation, changing directly into water vapor.

Colorado River
News
In the face of climate change induced declining river flows and increased competition for the river’s water, there is no question that the basic compact ground rules devised by the negotiators a century ago will face increasing pressure.
From Eric Kuhn On The Fleck Blog: The Roots Of A Coming Lake Powell Pipeline Legal Tangle | Colorado River Studies

From Eric Kuhn On The Fleck Blog: The Roots Of A Coming Lake Powell Pipeline Legal Tangle

In the face of climate change induced declining river flows and increased competition for the river’s water, there is no question that the basic compact ground rules devised by the negotiators a century ago will face increasing pressure.

Colorado River
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Sixty years after its creation, Lake Powell faces an uncertain future with increasing drought and limited runoff. Here we speak with Jack Schmidt and Eric Kuhn about the policies and politics of reservoirs along the Colorado River.
Lake Powell 2020: How Science, Politics, And Water-Use Policy Dictate The Future | Colorado River Studies

Lake Powell 2020: How Science, Politics, And Water-Use Policy Dictate The Future

Sixty years after its creation, Lake Powell faces an uncertain future with increasing drought and limited runoff. Here we speak with Jack Schmidt and Eric Kuhn about the policies and politics of reservoirs along the Colorado River.

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Colorado River
The Returning Rapids Project seeks to document the recovery of river resources. Peter Lefebvre and Mike Dehoff, principal investigators of the project and professional river guides in Moab, Utah, are working to record these changes.
Colorado River Conversations: Returning Rapids Project | Colorado River Studies

Colorado River Conversations: Returning Rapids Project

The Returning Rapids Project seeks to document the recovery of river resources. Peter Lefebvre and Mike Dehoff, principal investigators of the project and professional river guides in Moab, Utah, are working to record these changes.

Colorado River
News
For hundreds of years, the Colorado River has provided vital water supply for seven states in the U.S. Wyatt visits with researcher Jack Schmidt Professor of Watershed Sciences and Janet Quinney Lawson Chair Member at the Center for Colorado River Studies
Land Of Snow To Land Of Sun, Colorado River Management With, Dr. Jack Schmidt | Colorado River Studies

Land Of Snow To Land Of Sun, Colorado River Management With, Dr. Jack Schmidt

For hundreds of years, the Colorado River has provided vital water supply for seven states in the U.S. Wyatt visits with researcher Jack Schmidt Professor of Watershed Sciences and Janet Quinney Lawson Chair Member at the Center for Colorado River Studies...

Colorado River
News
Since record keeping began in the 1920’s, the record high water years along the upper Colorado River peaked around 100,000 cfs. That’s a ton of water. But that’s nothing, says hydrologist Dr. Vic Baker, compared to the paleo records of floods.
Geo-Paleontologist Vic Baker Featured In The Confluence | Colorado River Studies

Geo-Paleontologist Vic Baker Featured In The Confluence

Since record keeping began in the 1920’s, the record high water years along the upper Colorado River peaked around 100,000 cfs. That’s a ton of water. But that’s nothing, says hydrologist Dr. Vic Baker, compared to the paleo records of floods.

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Colorado River
News
A conversation with Anne Castle, who served as assistant secretary for water and science in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2009 to 2014.
The Future Of The Colorado River: A Federal Perspective | Colorado River Studies

The Future Of The Colorado River: A Federal Perspective

A conversation with Anne Castle, who served as assistant secretary for water and science in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 2009 to 2014.

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Colorado River
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A conversation with Eric Kuhn, author and Colorado River District General Manager (retired). April 16, 2020.
Future Of The Colorado River: A Watershed Perspective | Colorado River Studies

Future Of The Colorado River: A Watershed Perspective

A conversation with Eric Kuhn, author and Colorado River District General Manager (retired). April 16, 2020.

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Colorado River
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A conversation with Daryl Vigil, Ten Tribes Coalition and Matt McKinney, University of Montana on April 16, 2020.
Future Of The Colorado River: Tribal Perspectives On The Colorado River | Colorado River Studies

Future Of The Colorado River: Tribal Perspectives On The Colorado River

A conversation with Daryl Vigil, Ten Tribes Coalition and Matt McKinney, University of Montana on April 16, 2020.

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Colorado River
The Colorado River and its tributaries provide a water supply for more than 40 million people in the American Southwest. This water supply is primarily used in irrigated agriculture but also provides essential drinking water to large metropolitan areas.
New Project: The Impacts Of Climate Change And Water Supply Management On Fish In The Colorado River | Colorado River Studies

New Project: The Impacts Of Climate Change And Water Supply Management On Fish In The Colorado River

The Colorado River and its tributaries provide a water supply for more than 40 million people in the American Southwest. This water supply is primarily used in irrigated agriculture but also provides essential drinking water to large metropolitan areas.

Research
Colorado River
News
The lower Green River episodically narrowed between the mid-1930s and present day through deposition of new floodplains within a wider channel that had been established and/or maintained during the early twentieth century pluvial period.
Channel Narrowing By Inset Floodplain Formation Of The Lower Green River In The Canyonlands Region, Utah | Colorado River Studies

Channel Narrowing By Inset Floodplain Formation Of The Lower Green River In The Canyonlands Region, Utah

The lower Green River episodically narrowed between the mid-1930s and present day through deposition of new floodplains within a wider channel that had been established and/or maintained during the early twentieth century pluvial period.

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Colorado River
Events
Representatives Brent Osiek (Power Marketing Manager) and Clayton Palmer (Environmental Specialist) made a presentation to students of the Large River Management Class taught by Jack Schmidt and David Rosenberg on March 10, 2020.
Western Area Power Authority Presentation To CCRS Students | Colorado River Studies

Western Area Power Authority Presentation To CCRS Students

Representatives Brent Osiek (Power Marketing Manager) and Clayton Palmer (Environmental Specialist) made a presentation to students of the Large River Management Class taught by Jack Schmidt and David Rosenberg on March 10, 2020.

Colorado River
News
“The political agreement is about how to share the pain of drought," said Jack Schmidt. "The renegotiation of that pain is supposed to begin sometime in 2020, and has to be concluded by 2025.”
Climate Change Reducing Colorado River Runoff | Colorado River Studies

Climate Change Reducing Colorado River Runoff

“The political agreement is about how to share the pain of drought," said Jack Schmidt. "The renegotiation of that pain is supposed to begin sometime in 2020, and has to be concluded by 2025.”

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White Paper
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Colorado River
A white paper where describing how Colorado River stakeholders face many uncertainties—issues like climate change, future water demand, and evolving ecological priorities—and are looking for new tools to help cope.
White Paper 3: Strategies For Managing The Colorado River In An Uncertain Future | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 3: Strategies For Managing The Colorado River In An Uncertain Future

A white paper where describing how Colorado River stakeholders face many uncertainties—issues like climate change, future water demand, and evolving ecological priorities—and are looking for new tools to help cope.

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White Paper
Colorado River
Blog
News
A new white paper is the first of a series of papers to be produced by the Future of the Colorado River Project that explore alternative management strategies for the Colorado River that might provide benefit to water-supply users and to river ecosystems.
White Paper 2: Water Resource Modeling Of The Colorado River: Present And Future Strategies | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 2: Water Resource Modeling Of The Colorado River: Present And Future Strategies

A new white paper is the first of a series of papers to be produced by the Future of the Colorado River Project that explore alternative management strategies for the Colorado River that might provide benefit to water-supply users and to river ecosystems....

Colorado River
News
A new report from Castle and Fleck indicates that declines in the Colorado River’s flow could force water curtailments in coming decades, posing a credible risk to Colorado communities and consideration of insurance protection like demand management.
Featured Paper: The Risk Of Curtailment Under The Colorado River Compact | Colorado River Studies

Featured Paper: The Risk Of Curtailment Under The Colorado River Compact

A new report from Castle and Fleck indicates that declines in the Colorado River’s flow could force water curtailments in coming decades, posing a credible risk to Colorado communities and consideration of insurance protection like demand management.

News
Colorado River
Declining flows in the Colorado River could force Southwest water managers to confront long-standing legal uncertainties, and threaten the water security of Upper Basin states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, according to a new analysis.
New Analysis Spells Out Serious Legal Risk To Colorado River Water Users | Colorado River Studies

New Analysis Spells Out Serious Legal Risk To Colorado River Water Users

Declining flows in the Colorado River could force Southwest water managers to confront long-standing legal uncertainties, and threaten the water security of Upper Basin states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, according to a new analysis.

Colorado River
News
Arizona’s portion of the Drought Contingency Plan became a unique example in the basin of tribal leaders asserting themselves in broader discussions about the river’s management.
Historically Left Out, Colorado River Tribes Call For More Sway In Western Water Talks | Colorado River Studies

Historically Left Out, Colorado River Tribes Call For More Sway In Western Water Talks

Arizona’s portion of the Drought Contingency Plan became a unique example in the basin of tribal leaders asserting themselves in broader discussions about the river’s management.

Colorado River
News
Some environmental groups say climate change will lead to a scarcity of river water and Glen Canyon could become inoperable. Aside from wanting the dams 2016 operating plan to be revised, they want a discussion on draining Lake Powell and removing the dam
Environmentalists Push For Removing Dam Along Colorado River | Colorado River Studies

Environmentalists Push For Removing Dam Along Colorado River

Some environmental groups say climate change will lead to a scarcity of river water and Glen Canyon could become inoperable. Aside from wanting the dams 2016 operating plan to be revised, they want a discussion on draining Lake Powell and removing the dam...

News
Colorado River
Kuhn’s book, cowritten with John Fleck, examines one of the long held myths of the Colorado River. This myth is that the unusually wet runoff conditions of the early 20th century were not well understood by those who negotiated the Colorado River Compact.
'Science Be Damned': Water Rights And Scarcity With Eric Kuhn On Wednesday's Access Utah

'Science Be Damned': Water Rights And Scarcity With Eric Kuhn On Wednesday's Access Utah

Kuhn’s book, cowritten with John Fleck, examines one of the long held myths of the Colorado River. This myth is that the unusually wet runoff conditions of the early 20th century were not well understood by those who negotiated the Colorado River Compact....

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Events
Colorado River
Science be Dammed: how ignoring inconvenient science drained the Colorado River on October 2, 3:30 pm in ENGR 201. From his new book, Eric Kuhn discusses the management and mismanagement of water in the west.
Science be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River

Science be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River

Science be Dammed: how ignoring inconvenient science drained the Colorado River on October 2, 3:30 pm in ENGR 201. From his new book, Eric Kuhn discusses the management and mismanagement of water in the west.

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Colorado River
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This course combines an overview of the science behind water and climate in the Western United States with a survey of the major legal, political, and cultural issues focused on this precious resource.
Water In The Western US Course | Colorado River Studies

Water In The Western US Course

This course combines an overview of the science behind water and climate in the Western United States with a survey of the major legal, political, and cultural issues focused on this precious resource.

News
Colorado River
Since 2000, total consumptive use by all water users – cities, farms, industries – has been 20% greater than the total flow of the river, on average. In 2002, the volume consumed was twice the entire flow of the river.
From Sustainable Waters: Growing Water | Colorado River Studies

From Sustainable Waters: Growing Water

Since 2000, total consumptive use by all water users – cities, farms, industries – has been 20% greater than the total flow of the river, on average. In 2002, the volume consumed was twice the entire flow of the river.

Events
News
Colorado River
The Center for Colorado River is partnering with the Escalante Canyons Festival to bring a slate of speakers to cover the art, science, and politics of the Colorado River system.
Colorado River Science: Escalante | Colorado River Studies

Colorado River Science: Escalante

The Center for Colorado River is partnering with the Escalante Canyons Festival to bring a slate of speakers to cover the art, science, and politics of the Colorado River system.

Events
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Colorado River
Join us for our next installment of Colorado River Science: Moab. We partnered with the Moab Festival of Science to have a conversation with Mike and Jenny Fiebig about their fall 2018 boating tour from the Wind River Range down to Mexico.
One River, Many Voices: A Source To Sea Expedition | Colorado River Studies

One River, Many Voices: A Source To Sea Expedition

Join us for our next installment of Colorado River Science: Moab. We partnered with the Moab Festival of Science to have a conversation with Mike and Jenny Fiebig about their fall 2018 boating tour from the Wind River Range down to Mexico.

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Events
Colorado River
Students from the Center for Colorado River Studies headed to the field in April, 2019 to get in-person experience on the river. The USU class called "River Planning and Management" is a collaborative course for water resources and engineering students
Floods on the Colorado

Floods on the Colorado

Students from the Center for Colorado River Studies headed to the field in April, 2019 to get in-person experience on the river. The USU class called "River Planning and Management" is a collaborative course for water resources and engineering students

News
Colorado River
What Glen Canyon once was is starting to come back. At Lake Powell’s high water mark plants, insects and wildlife have been settling back in. With continued demand for water we’ve had a two-decade-long shortage on the river system, said Eric Balken.
Biologists Blitz Lake Powell As Water Recedes | Colorado River Studies

Biologists Blitz Lake Powell As Water Recedes

What Glen Canyon once was is starting to come back. At Lake Powell’s high water mark plants, insects and wildlife have been settling back in. With continued demand for water we’ve had a two-decade-long shortage on the river system, said Eric Balken.

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Colorado River
The Department of the Interior is conducting the third experimental flow at Glen Canyon Dam since implementing its LTEMP. The goal is to provide enhanced habitat for the lifecycle of aquatic insects that are the primary food source for fish.
Boatman's Beta: Third Experimental Flow At Glen Canyon Dam | Colorado River Studies

Boatman's Beta: Third Experimental Flow At Glen Canyon Dam

The Department of the Interior is conducting the third experimental flow at Glen Canyon Dam since implementing its LTEMP. The goal is to provide enhanced habitat for the lifecycle of aquatic insects that are the primary food source for fish.

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Colorado River
As the Colorado River’s flow declines, water supplies in seven states are imperiled by potential shortages. That includes Arizona, which passed legislation outlining steps it would take if water from the river continues to decrease.
Amid Drought, Phoenix Plans For A Future With Less Water | Colorado River Studies

Amid Drought, Phoenix Plans For A Future With Less Water

As the Colorado River’s flow declines, water supplies in seven states are imperiled by potential shortages. That includes Arizona, which passed legislation outlining steps it would take if water from the river continues to decrease.

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Colorado River
One hundred fifty years ago, John Wesley Powell argued that the West needed smart development. Now the fast-growing region is playing catch-up. The American West is also a region that depends heavily on science for its long-term livability.
In EOS: Green And Grand: John Wesley Powell And The West That Wasn’t | Colorado River Studies

In EOS: Green And Grand: John Wesley Powell And The West That Wasn’t

One hundred fifty years ago, John Wesley Powell argued that the West needed smart development. Now the fast-growing region is playing catch-up. The American West is also a region that depends heavily on science for its long-term livability.

News
Colorado River
Representatives of seven Western states and the federal government signed a landmark deal on Monday laying out potential cuts in water deliveries through 2026 to reduce the risks of the river’s reservoirs hitting critically low levels.
States Sign Short-Term Colorado River Drought Plan | Colorado River Studies

States Sign Short-Term Colorado River Drought Plan

Representatives of seven Western states and the federal government signed a landmark deal on Monday laying out potential cuts in water deliveries through 2026 to reduce the risks of the river’s reservoirs hitting critically low levels.

News
Colorado River
When one considers the historic harm done by mining operations to rivers in the West, it is tempting to speculate—if people then could only understand what is known about how river systems work could one have avoided decades of ecological disaster?
USU Today: Politics, Power And Rivers - Historic Mining In The Rural West | Colorado River Studies

USU Today: Politics, Power And Rivers - Historic Mining In The Rural West

When one considers the historic harm done by mining operations to rivers in the West, it is tempting to speculate—if people then could only understand what is known about how river systems work could one have avoided decades of ecological disaster?

Colorado River
News
"Now that the agreement’s been signed, everybody’s looking at augmentation,” said Paul Orme. Projects such as desalination of brackish groundwater, repair of leaking pipelines and recycling of wastewater could be funded by municipal bonds.
In Bond Buyer: Utilities Tighten Valves Under Colorado River Drought Plan | Colorado River Studies

In Bond Buyer: Utilities Tighten Valves Under Colorado River Drought Plan

"Now that the agreement’s been signed, everybody’s looking at augmentation,” said Paul Orme. Projects such as desalination of brackish groundwater, repair of leaking pipelines and recycling of wastewater could be funded by municipal bonds.

News
Colorado River
Events
Students from the Center for Colorado River Studies headed to the field in April, 2019 to get in-person experience on the river. The USU class called "River Planning and Management" is a collaborative course for water resources and engineering students.
April In The Field | Colorado River Studies

April In The Field

Students from the Center for Colorado River Studies headed to the field in April, 2019 to get in-person experience on the river. The USU class called "River Planning and Management" is a collaborative course for water resources and engineering students.

News
Colorado River
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Desert Research Institute are working to better understand evaporation rates at Lake Powell, one of the key recommendations from the 2016 “Fill Mead First” report from the Center for Colorado River Studies.
Center Applauds New Study To Measure Powell Evaporation | Colorado River Studies

Center Applauds New Study To Measure Powell Evaporation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Desert Research Institute are working to better understand evaporation rates at Lake Powell, one of the key recommendations from the 2016 “Fill Mead First” report from the Center for Colorado River Studies.

Colorado River
News
After months of negotiations, seven basin states wait for Congressional approval. "The urgency is real because our system is stressed by warmer temperatures,” Colorado’s water official, James Eklund, told the House Natural Resources Committee last week."
Will Congress leave the Colorado River high and dry?

Will Congress leave the Colorado River high and dry?

After months of negotiations, seven basin states wait for Congressional approval. "The urgency is real because our system is stressed by warmer temperatures,” Colorado’s water official, James Eklund, told the House Natural Resources Committee last week."...

News
Colorado River
Events
When you consider the historic harm done by mining operations to rivers in the West, it is tempting to speculate—if people then could only understand what we know now about how river systems work … could we have avoided ecological upheaval and disaster?
Colorado River Science: Moab -- Jonathan Thompson | Colorado River Studies

Colorado River Science: Moab -- Jonathan Thompson

When you consider the historic harm done by mining operations to rivers in the West, it is tempting to speculate—if people then could only understand what we know now about how river systems work … could we have avoided ecological upheaval and disaster?

Colorado River
News
future
Learn
Events
On October 13, 2018 we asked national experts -- can you rehabilitate a stressed river ecosystem and still meet the water needs of 40 million people? Find out what they said.
The Future Of The Colorado River Symposium | Colorado River Studies

The Future Of The Colorado River Symposium

On October 13, 2018 we asked national experts -- can you rehabilitate a stressed river ecosystem and still meet the water needs of 40 million people? Find out what they said.

Colorado River
News
Will Utah have sufficient water in an era of declining stream flows to support a population expected to double, strong agriculture, recreation economies and a healthy environment?
As Utah Dries Up, Lawmakers Look For Smarter Ways To Transfer, Use — And Not Use — Water | Colorado River Studies

As Utah Dries Up, Lawmakers Look For Smarter Ways To Transfer, Use — And Not Use — Water

Will Utah have sufficient water in an era of declining stream flows to support a population expected to double, strong agriculture, recreation economies and a healthy environment?

News
Colorado River
Bullfrog Marina • Ever since the Colorado River began filling Utah’s Glen Canyon and its countless side canyons in 1963, conservationists have been calling for emptying the lake that now supports a recreation economy and power generation.
SL Trib: Lake Powell Could Become A ‘dead Pool’ | Colorado River Studies

SL Trib: Lake Powell Could Become A ‘dead Pool’

Bullfrog Marina • Ever since the Colorado River began filling Utah’s Glen Canyon and its countless side canyons in 1963, conservationists have been calling for emptying the lake that now supports a recreation economy and power generation.

Colorado River
News
Keith Moses said coming to terms with the limits of the Colorado River is like losing a loved one. "It reminds me of the seven stages of grief," Moses said. "Because I think we've been in denial for a long time."
Fear And Grieving In Las Vegas: Colorado River Managers Struggle With Water Scarcity | Colorado River Studies

Fear And Grieving In Las Vegas: Colorado River Managers Struggle With Water Scarcity

Keith Moses said coming to terms with the limits of the Colorado River is like losing a loved one. "It reminds me of the seven stages of grief," Moses said. "Because I think we've been in denial for a long time."

News
Colorado River
The study documents how Partnership Tribes currently use their water, projects how future water development could occur and describes the potential effects of future tribal water development on the Colorado River System.
Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study | Colorado River Studies

Ten Tribes Partnership Tribal Water Study

The study documents how Partnership Tribes currently use their water, projects how future water development could occur and describes the potential effects of future tribal water development on the Colorado River System.

Events
Colorado River
News
Check out our colleagues' presentations from the fall AGU meeting held in Washington DC in December 2018.
Presentations From The AGU Meeting - DC | Colorado River Studies

Presentations From The AGU Meeting - DC

Check out our colleagues' presentations from the fall AGU meeting held in Washington DC in December 2018.

News
Colorado River
Experimental releases that mimic natural floods have nudged the Colorado River ecosystem back toward its natural state, but have not fully restored the river.
Restoring A Damned River With Experimental Flooding | Colorado River Studies

Restoring A Damned River With Experimental Flooding

Experimental releases that mimic natural floods have nudged the Colorado River ecosystem back toward its natural state, but have not fully restored the river.

News
Colorado River
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation begins a four-day controlled flood of the Grand Canyon. The goal is to help move sand and sediment down the Colorado River the way the river's natural flows did before construction of Glen Canyon Dam.
Controlled Flood On The Grand Canyon Begins A Four-Day Exercise On The Colorado River | Colorado River Studies

Controlled Flood On The Grand Canyon Begins A Four-Day Exercise On The Colorado River

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation begins a four-day controlled flood of the Grand Canyon. The goal is to help move sand and sediment down the Colorado River the way the river's natural flows did before construction of Glen Canyon Dam.

Colorado River
News
In the 55 years since the federal government poured about 5 million cubic yards of concrete across the Colorado River to form Glen Canyon Dam the demand for water and electricity in Arizona, Nevada and California has turned the river’s ecology upside down
Unnatural Wonder: A Journey Into The Heart Of A River Forever Changed By Human Hands | Colorado River Studies

Unnatural Wonder: A Journey Into The Heart Of A River Forever Changed By Human Hands

In the 55 years since the federal government poured about 5 million cubic yards of concrete across the Colorado River to form Glen Canyon Dam the demand for water and electricity in Arizona, Nevada and California has turned the river’s ecology upside down...

News
Colorado River
Shrinking snowpack in the Colorado River watershed is not just a water supply problem, but could also lead to a variety of water quality concerns. Listen to two experts describe these changes and how we might adapt.
Drought on the Colorado – Can We Adapt to Changing Runoff?

Drought on the Colorado – Can We Adapt to Changing Runoff?

Shrinking snowpack in the Colorado River watershed is not just a water supply problem, but could also lead to a variety of water quality concerns. Listen to two experts describe these changes and how we might adapt.

News
Colorado River
"Adaptive management will flounder, says a veteran of efforts on the Colorado River, "if it's only guided by stakeholder concerns and is tightly constrained by nuanced policy considerations."
Adaptive Management May Flounder if only Guided by Stakeholder Concerns & Stringent Policy

Adaptive Management May Flounder if only Guided by Stakeholder Concerns & Stringent Policy

"Adaptive management will flounder, says a veteran of efforts on the Colorado River, "if it's only guided by stakeholder concerns and is tightly constrained by nuanced policy considerations."

News
Colorado River
From Scientific American: Jack Schmidt, a former chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, says "the science doesn't back it up. Instead, it could cause "one hell of a problem," said Schmidt.
Should Iconic Lake Powell Be Drained?

Should Iconic Lake Powell Be Drained?

From Scientific American: Jack Schmidt, a former chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, says "the science doesn't back it up. Instead, it could cause "one hell of a problem," said Schmidt.

News
Colorado River
In a technical assessment of scientific issues associated with the proposed project Jack Schmidt, center director, offers an exhaustive analysis of anticipated water savings and possible risks of FMF’s implementation.
Center Gauges 'Fill Mead First' Plan | Colorado River Studies

Center Gauges 'Fill Mead First' Plan

In a technical assessment of scientific issues associated with the proposed project Jack Schmidt, center director, offers an exhaustive analysis of anticipated water savings and possible risks of FMF’s implementation.

White Paper
News
Research
Colorado River
The Fill Mead First (FMF) plan would establish Lake Mead reservoir as the primary water storage facility of the main-stem Colorado River and would relegate Lake Powell reservoir to a secondary water storage facility to be used only when Lake Mead is full.
White Paper 1: Fill Mead First: A Technical Assessement | Colorado River Studies

White Paper 1: Fill Mead First: A Technical Assessement

The Fill Mead First (FMF) plan would establish Lake Mead reservoir as the primary water storage facility of the main-stem Colorado River and would relegate Lake Powell reservoir to a secondary water storage facility to be used only when Lake Mead is full....

News
Events
Colorado River
An on-the-water field experience for stakeholders, tribal, NGO staff, and river scientists to learn about and discuss water-supply policy, river ecosystem health requirements, reservoir operations, and the aspirations of users of the River’s water.
Get To Know Our Rivers | Colorado River Studies

Get To Know Our Rivers

An on-the-water field experience for stakeholders, tribal, NGO staff, and river scientists to learn about and discuss water-supply policy, river ecosystem health requirements, reservoir operations, and the aspirations of users of the River’s water.