Colorado River Basin vulnerable to drought

Feb 22, 2007

A National Research Council study of the Colorado River Basin found that the area could suffer severe droughts as the climate warms and population grows.

The council, which is the research arm of the National Academy of Science, said global warming and increasing population rates will put greater pressure on water supplies, presenting "a sobering prospect for elected officials and water managers," The New York Times reported Thursday.

The report's authors said solving the problem could be difficult, but steps including conservation, desalination and water recycling could help, the Los Angeles Times said.

"If people think they can save enough water to meet all the future demands, our judgment (is) that it's not going to be that easy," said Ernest Smerdon, who chaired the panel of academicians and scientists who wrote the report. "(We) are not predicting doom. We are just saying that there are critical issues to be addressed."

"The basin is going to face increasingly costly, controversial and unavoidable trade-off choices," Smerdon said. "Increasing demands are impeding the region's ability to cope with droughts and water shortages."

The Colorado River Basin includes Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and parts of California.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Current residential development research is a poor foundation for sustainable development

Related Stories

ESA image: Las Vegas and Lake Mead

Feb 13, 2015

This image from the Landsat-8 satellite acquired on 23 September 2014 brings us over the southwest United States: Nevada and Arizona.

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

Jul 24, 2014

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Study provides detailed projections of coral bleaching

3 hours ago

While research shows that nearly all coral reef locations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico will experience bleaching by mid-century, a new study showing in detail when and where bleaching will occur shows ...

Germany restricts fracking but doesn't ban it

9 hours ago

The German cabinet drew up rules Wednesday on the hitherto unregulated technology of "fracking" in Germany, narrowly restricting its use, but stopping short of an outright ban.

Life in the poisonous breath of sleeping volcanos

10 hours ago

Researchers of the University Jena analyze the microbial community in volcanically active soils. In a mofette close to the Czech river Plesná in north-western Bohemia, the team around Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel ...

Eggs and chicken instead of beef reap major climate gains

11 hours ago

Beef on our plates is one of the biggest climate villains, but that does not mean we have to adopt a vegan diet to reach climate goals. Research results from Chalmers University of Technology show that adopting ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.