Thursday, April 30, 2015

Risk estimate of CAP water shortage increased

Here is the opener of the report from Tony Davis at the Daily Star.

The federal government ratcheted up its risk estimates for Central Arizona Project shortages on Wednesday.

The odds of a shortage in water deliveries to Arizona and other Lower Colorado River Basin states in 2016 are now 33 percent, up from 21 percent as predicted in January, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said.

By 2017, the odds rise to 75 percent, compared to a January prediction of 54 percent.

The bureau raised the odds of shortages three days after Lake Mead on the Colorado River hit another record low level — the third time that’s happened since 2010.

Snowpack levels in the Colorado River’s Upper Basin are significantly lower now than in January, which reduces runoff into the river and into Lake Powell, which releases water to Lake Mead at the Nevada border. Water for the CAP canal system is stored in Lake Mead.

If there is a shortage next year, it would reduce total CAP deliveries 320,000 acre-feet, or 20 percent. Seventeen irrigation districts would get less water. There would be no water delivered to the state to recharge into the ground as a set-aside for future shortages. Cities and Indian tribes probably wouldn’t lose CAP water for at least five years.

Now, about those Rosemont promises for recharging OUR groundwater with CAP water?

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