Category Archives: Hydrologic Risk

Some (Sort of) Good News and Some Bad News: The SWP and CVP Allocations and the Continued Drought in California

This winter continues to be the tale of extreme weather patterns. In Boston, the City experienced its snowiest February ever, (Boston has weather records dating back to around the Civil War) and the grand total of snow this winter is less than 2 inches off of the all-time cumulative record set in the winter of 1995-1996. The subways and commuter trains in the City have run on modified schedules for weeks. Some above-ground tracks may not get fully cleared until the end of March. Economists estimate that the series of winter storms caused $2 billion in economic damages to the City of Boston alone. Continue reading

A Look at Colorado’s 2015 Water Plan

Colorado’s water situation looks much less dire in 2015 than it did two short years ago. In February, 2013, exceptional drought covered almost 25% of the Centennial State. Severe drought covered 100% of the state. When we fast forward to today, the situation fortunately is much less dire. (please see the map below for details.) Some portions of Southeastern Colorado face extreme drought conditions. The severe drought that covered the entire state two years ago now only covers 12.26%. However, Colorado is not resting on its laurels to plan for future water crises. Continue reading

The Implications of the Drought in the Colorado River Basin on Arizona’s Water Supply

The most recent US Drought Monitor released on December 30th finally shows a small glimmer of improvement for California’s drought. Over the last few weeks, a series of major storms dropped significantly higher than normal rains across much of Northern California. In fact, rain in some major Bay Area cities fell at the fastest clip ever recorded there. Oakland received 455% higher than average rainfall in December. San Francisco recorded 424% higher than average rainfall, and San Jose recorded an astonishing 736% of its average rainfall this December. Unfortunately, all of this rainfall put only a small dent in the drought conditions that mire the state. According to the US Drought Monitor, exceptional drought covers 32.21% of the state this week versus 55.08% at the beginning of the December. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Colorado River Basins

There is an interesting trend in the Bureau of Reclamation’s 24-Month studies projecting future elevations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead:  The Bureau projects recovering elevations in Lake Powell and continued deteriorating elevations in Lake Mead.  Continue reading