US urges conservation as Colorado River hit by drought

May 28, 2013 by Tony Perry

As a regional drought tightens its grip on the Colorado River, water agency officials, environmentalists, farmers and Indian tribal leaders from the seven states that depend on the river for survival are expected to gather Tuesday for a "moving forward" meeting called by federal officials.

Last year was dry, this year is even worse, said.

If the trend continues, Lake Powell and , the Colorado River's two giant reservoirs, will be at 45 percent capacity by year's end, their lowest since 1968.

"Hydrologically, we're not going in the right direction," Michael Connor, commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, said in advance of Tuesday's meeting in San Diego.

The strategy to avoid cutbacks, officials said, lies in conserving more water in cities, suburbs and farms without resorting to the political bickering and legal fights that have marked the river's recent history.

In December, the federal government released the results of a three-year study warning that drought, and are fast outstripping the water supply from the Colorado River.

The river provides for the daily needs of 40 million people, including those in Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Farmers and ranchers in Western states also use the river to irrigate 4 million acres of cropland where 15 percent of the nation's food supply is grown.

The December report and its "call to action" cannot become "a study that just sits on a shelf," said Anne Castle, assistant Interior secretary for water and science.

Officials are expected to form three committees to examine the problem and propose solutions. One will involve municipal agencies, a second will deal with agriculture interests and a third will address the concerns of environmental groups.

The Colorado is frequently listed by the Washington, D.C.-based American Rivers as being among the nation's most troubled waterways. Gary Wockner, campaign coordinator of the Save the Colorado group, said he will be closely monitoring the environmental committee.

Wockner said he wants to see that the "moving forward" approach "provides hope for both the ecological health of the river and the millions of people who depend on it."

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Neinsense99
3.5 / 5 (13) May 28, 2013
It must be them damned socialists, commies and UN black helicopters sapping and impurifying our nation's precious non-bodily fluids. That's how your hard-core commie works. Couldn't possibly be anything else. (sarcasm)
antigoracle
1.4 / 5 (11) May 28, 2013
It must be them damned socialists, commies and UN black helicopters sapping and impurifying our nation's precious non-bodily fluids. That's how your hard-core commie works. Couldn't possibly be anything else. (sarcasm)

It could be stupidity, like you and your response.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (13) May 28, 2013
California could stop growing rice.
VENDItardE
1 / 5 (11) May 28, 2013
California grows liberals who grow crops (in a fkn desert)
use way too much water
river runs dry
liberals vanish

seems like a law of nature to me because clearly
there is no intelligent design involved.
deepsand
3.7 / 5 (12) May 28, 2013
It must be them damned socialists, commies and UN black helicopters sapping and impurifying our nation's precious non-bodily fluids. That's how your hard-core commie works. Couldn't possibly be anything else. (sarcasm)

It could be stupidity, like you and your response.

On the other hand, there's an excellent chance that the stupidity in question arises from your inability to appreciate sarcasm when it cuts against your treasured articles of faith.
deepsand
3.9 / 5 (14) May 28, 2013
California grows liberals who grow crops (in a fkn desert)
use way too much water
river runs dry
liberals vanish

seems like a law of nature to me because clearly
there is no intelligent design involved.

Could be worse, given that, judging by your posts, your region seems to grow dunces.
Shootist
1 / 5 (8) May 28, 2013
I would suggest to the California cities that they begin planing to build desalination plants. But since they haven't even built a new electrical generation plant in 40 years, somehow I just know things are going to get worse in that liberal hellhole.

Give the whole thing back to Mexico, they deserve each other.
alfie_null
4.8 / 5 (5) May 29, 2013
California grows liberals who grow crops (in a fkn desert)
use way too much water
river runs dry
liberals vanish

seems like a law of nature to me because clearly
there is no intelligent design involved.

I'm entertained by the vision of you sitting down with a room full of central valley farmers, telling them they are a bunch of liberals, etc.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (5) May 29, 2013
You know, I wonder if all this ire directed at Californians is at least part because they do well despite fostering a relatively liberal environment. They invent things, create businesses, attract business, make money. People find it an attractive state to move to and live in.

Acknowledging that such a place can flourish must be like tasting ashes in a right-winger's mouth.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) May 29, 2013
I would suggest to the California cities that they begin planing to build desalination plants. But since they haven't even built a new electrical generation plant in 40 years, somehow I just know things are going to get worse in that liberal hellhole.

Give the whole thing back to Mexico, they deserve each other.

Santa Barbara built one and made some deal to have someone else pay for it in exchange for their CO river allocation.
Neinsense99
3.2 / 5 (9) May 29, 2013
You know, I wonder if all this ire directed at Californians is at least part because they do well despite fostering a relatively liberal environment. They invent things, create businesses, attract business, make money. People find it an attractive state to move to and live in.

Acknowledging that such a place can flourish must be like tasting ashes in a right-winger's mouth.

What will they do with a CA to the west of them and a CA to the north? If the commies from the west coast won't get them, a vast Canuckistani horde riding laser-armed moose and polar bears will! Classic pinko pincer movement!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) May 29, 2013
They invent things, create businesses, attract business, make money.

They used to.
The golden goose can be killed.
Howhot
5 / 5 (4) May 29, 2013
In December, the federal government released the results of a three-year study warning that drought, climate change and population growth are fast outstripping the water supply from the Colorado River.

Everytime I pass through Colorado, I'm amazed at its growth. There is always a new development here, construction there. It's kind of sad in away if you remember the mountains a certain way and the next time you can't see them because of a new bill-board
in front of a new subdivision.

its "call to action"
I certainly is.