Protect the Flows, a coalition of more than 250 tourism-related businesses from five states along the Colorado River, understands that this bumper water year may not bolster the water supply for long, said public affairs representative Molly Mugglestone.
"The bigger take-away is that the Colorado River hasn't reached the Sea of Cortez for about 12 years, so even if we have a lot of snow one year, it's still the overall supply and demand of the Colorado River that's not equal," said Mugglestone. "There is more demand than supply. We're trying to make sure people don't say, 'We've got great runoff this year, no problem.' We're trying to think more long-term in terms of future."
The organization met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Tuesday to discuss their stake in the allocation of Colorado River water resources (E&E Daily, July 19).
Andrew Wood of the NOAA Colorado Basin River Forecast Center similarly warned that smart management is necessary to face whatever conditions will affect the crucial river in the future.
"As a result of this year, Lake Powell has reached an equalization level, which means they are able to send water downstream to Lake Mead," said Wood. "But this doesn't restore the lake to levels that were seen before we entered this period of drought. We would definitely need more than a year -- more than even a few years like this."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500