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Colorado River states bought time with a 3-year water conservation deal – now they need to think bigger – Robert Glennon

The Conversation
May 26, 2023

What the Colorado River water use agreement will mean for western statesArizona, California and Nevada have narrowly averted a regional water crisis by agreeing to reduce their use of Colorado River water over the next three years. This deal represents a temporary solution to a long-term crisis. Nonetheless, as a close observer of western water policy, I see… Read more »

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Featured articles from Robert Glennon

Evaporated Water

Smart Water Magazine

“This is a case about evaporated water.” Thus began U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s opinion for the Court in Texas v. New Mexico, decided on December 14, 2020. Wait a minute!  The Supreme Court is a very busy Court with complicated, serious legal problems to resolve, yet they heard one about something that no longer exists?

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John Wesley Powell, Great Explorer of the American West

Scientific American
June 26, 2019

Just over 150 years ago, on May 24, 1869, John Wesley Powell set off from Green River in the Wyoming Territory, into the “great unknown,” the first known descent of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

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Three Authors See Water, Water Everywhere, for Better and Worse

NY Times
March 30, 2018

The most pernicious consequence of global warming is the rise of sea levels, which threatens cities around the world and has already triggered what may become the largest mass migration in human history.

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Human actions created the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake – here’s how to save it from collapse, protecting wild birds and human health – Robert Glennon and Brent M. Haddad

The Conversation
January 10, 2023
The Salton Sea spreads across a remote valley in California’s lower Colorado Desert, 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the Mexican border. For birds migrating along the Pacific coast, it’s an avian Grand Central Station. In midwinter tens of thousands of snow geese, ducks, pelicans, gulls and other species forage on and around the lake. Hundreds of other species nest... Read more »  Read more

Rethinking a finite resource

July 1, 2022
National Hockey League teams in the United States and Canada annually use 300 million gallons of water to operate their arenas. Most facilities use a surprising amount of water. Yet facility managers, much like everyone else, might take water for granted.  Read more

Water is cheap…should it be?

NPR, The Indicator from Planet Money
September 1, 2021
All this week, we are talking about water or the lack of it. The climate crisis means intense heat, drier weather and drought, and today at least one uncontained fire, which is causing evacuations in Lake Tahoe. And California and Nevada have both declared a state of emergency. But despite these extreme consequences from water scarcity, often, we do not seem to treat this incredibly valuable commodity with the respect it deserves.  Read more

As Colorado River Basin states confront water shortages, it’s time to focus on reducing demand

The Conversation
August 16, 2021
The U.S. government announced its first-ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River on Aug. 16, 2021, triggering future cuts in the amount of water states will be allowed to draw from the river. The Tier 1 shortage declaration followed the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s forecast that the water in Lake Mead – the largest reservoir in the U.S., located on the Arizona-Nevada border – will drop below an elevation of 1,075 feet above sea level, leaving less than 40% of its capacity, by the end of 2021.  Read more