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|Storage:||The size of this resource is 19.9 MB|
|Created:||Jul 08, 2022 at 1:45 p.m.|
|Last updated:|| Jul 11, 2022 at 2:42 p.m.
|Citation:||See how to cite this resource|
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Our ability to sustainably manage the Colorado River is clearly in doubt. The Bureau of Reclamation’s 2012 Water Supply and Demand Study demonstrated the precarious balance that currently exists between water supply and the amount consumptively used by society. A future with either declining water supplies or additional consumptive uses will undoubtedly upset this balance. This balance is threatened because: (1) climate change science predicts that watershed runoff will decline due to increased evapotranspiration from rising temperatures; and (2) water users, especially in the Upper Basin, aspire to increase consumptive uses by developing new projects. This white paper describes how declining runoff and increased consumptive use will impact water supplies and ecosystems, and also considers how these risks can be addressed.
The objective of the White Paper is 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. To achieve this objective, we introduce a wide variety of alternative management paradigms that offer significant modifications or entirely new approaches to the status quo. Because of the magnitude and severity of the impending challenges that the basin faces, we intentionally describe and evaluate approaches that some might consider radical due to existing and assumed physical or management constraints. However, all infrastructural and institutional constraints on the Colorado River have been developed over only the last century, and to assume that decisions must remain bound by such constraints may limit our ability to identify innovative solutions needed to meet the challenges ahead. The goal of this white paper is to encourage conversation and consideration of new management concepts that will better meet future needs.
This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
|Agency Name||Award Title||Award Number|
|Future of the Colorado River, Catena Foundation||Grant 202059|
|The Walton Family Foundation||Grant 2018-585|
|My Good Fund|
|David Bonderman fund|
|Janet Quinney Lawson Chair in Colorado River Studies endowment|
|Utah Water Research Laboratory funding|
|Oxford Martin Programme on Transboundary Resource Management|