The 2022 Runoff Graphed

drewsxmi

Escalante-Class Member
And even farther south and west I got 1 inch snow at my house last night along with a nice wetting rain in Provo. But our Wasatch snowpack is 60% of normal, so this little storm did nothing substantive for our Great Salt Lake which is hitting all-time lows and exposing wide areas of salt beds and noxious minerals that the wind picks up and delivers as mud rain. Also, if you look, the headwaters of the Green are below 100% of normal snowpack. So it may “feel” cool and windy and wet, but the facts on the ground show otherwise.
I said that this spring "feels" cold, wet, and windy on the Wasatch Front, but a story in KSL has the numbers on precipitation, indicating that precipitation has been well below normal (Climate data: How much have Utah's spring storms helped the state's drought?). Ten minutes of Internet searching did not get me 2022 average temperatures versus historical averages.
 

Gunny

Active Member
Not sure how much of that 3.8 MAF has or will still occur but the snowpack is 60pct gone already, they're holding back flows to Mead which is making Mead drop precipitously and they're releasing water from Flaming Gorge. Powell is still hovering around 3523. Huh? The future for these lakes is catastrophic if people keep moving West and ag continues to pull so much water. Maybe it's time to rethink and move to the Midwest. Stop farming in the desert for God's sake. Mom just retired at 78yrs old (nurse), sold her Mesa home and got the heck out of Arizona before the water situation gets worse. Weird because she moved there 20yrs ago TO retire and she went back to northern Wisconsin to live on a crappie infested lake instead.
 

DirtSailor71

Active Member
Gunny, my 73 year old retired mother still lives in the house I grew up in Mesa. I've lived in the East Valley on and off since 1983. I can say that farming is all but disappeared from the desert areas in AZ, particularly Maricopa county. There used to be plenty of alfalfa, cotton and citrus here. Heck, Gilbert AZ was called the Hay Capital of the World. It's all gone now. Residential development took over all of those farms and actually greatly improved our water supply as residential development uses much less water than farming.

The reductions in Colorado water last year hit AZ the hardest and specifically farmers in Pinal county (area between Phoenix and Tucson). Most are farming less than half their acreage going forward. By 2030, due to previous agreements, I suspect there won't be a farm left in any desert areas of AZ.
 

DirtSailor71

Active Member
East Valley Tribune: Plummeting lake levels threaten Mesa's water supply | News | eastvalleytribune.com.

While specific to AZ, this is a really good article with insight on this year's flow and impact. Worth the read.
 

JFRCalifornia

Escalante-Class Member
That’s a good article, accurate in its details. The detail I didn’t know before (and I assume accurate) is that the Colorado River accounts for 36% of AZ’s water supply. By contrast, Colorado River water is something like 10% of California’s supply, so you can see how this is a much bigger deal in AZ…
 

Paladin

Well-Known Member
East Valley Tribune: Plummeting lake levels threaten Mesa's water supply | News | eastvalleytribune.com.

While specific to AZ, this is a really good article with insight on this year's flow and impact. Worth the read.
Interesting.

When we got involved with Ben Burr and the Blue Ribbon Coalition one of the first things we did was send a letter to U. Sec. Trujillo and other "water managers" asking to be heard on matters of water management of the Colorado River. BRC set up auto-emailing capability and I emailed those parties on behalf of Fill Lake Powell and the BRC letting them know our intentions.

Mr. Buschatzke was the only one who replied to me: a semi-polite post acknowledging the importance of recreation but making it sure that I was fully aware of the 40 million people who rely on Colorado River water.

Just sayin...
 

RobertGosselin

Active Member
Interesting.

When we got involved with Ben Burr and the Blue Ribbon Coalition one of the first things we did was send a letter to U. Sec. Trujillo and other "water managers" asking to be heard on matters of water management of the Colorado River. BRC set up auto-emailing capability and I emailed those parties on behalf of Fill Lake Powell and the BRC letting them know our intentions.

Mr. Buschatzke was the only one who replied to me: a semi-polite post acknowledging the importance of recreation but making it sure that I was fully aware of the 40 million people who rely on Colorado River water.

Just sayin...
Are you "just saying" that this is likely to be one of the opposing forces to filling Lake Powell in the complex web of water interests with a say in the matter?
 

Paladin

Well-Known Member
Are you "just saying" that this is likely to be one of the opposing forces to filling Lake Powell in the complex web of water interests with a say in the matter?
No, not at all. And I did not mean to infer that.

It is my opinion that the concept of accepting a lower-than-normal portion of one’s rightful water allocation is going to be a new experience for the water managers concerned. They’re not going to like it but they are also facing the reality that they have no realistic choice. This is now, and until Mother Nature relents, is going to be a hell of a problem for a lot of interested stakeholders. It’s going to be intensely negotiated and there is some feeling that the 1922 Compact will have to be renegotiated and rewritten as well. At this point in time that it’s pure speculation… but it’s inevitable.

The concept of recreation, from a practical and economic consideration, has been side-stepped by municipal and agricultural interests. When asked to be taken seriously, and reminded that recreationists have statutory rights to “use” impounded water, the reaction may not be favorable. However, as of this posting our field Policy Director has already attended a few of these stakeholder meetings and reports that recreationists are now, indeed, a part of the conversation. She also reports no outright hostility to our positions. …. We’ll see!

Yes, it is a “complex web of water interests.” And we are now part of that web. We have a long way to go, and at this point in time, we are developing strategies to be a true partner in these negotiations and allocations. We are trying to be seen as positive and helpful as opposed to demanding of our rights, regardless of the immediate consequences.

It’s a new day in a new time and we are a rightful participant. Considering recreationists an ancillary group and the by-product of a bunch of engineers who build dams and impound water are over. Remember, we are not taking water away from that farmer who grows cotton in southern Pinal County. We just want to use it as it goes by. How he gets his water from Lake Powell, down the Colorado River, through the Arizona Canal and through his local ditch is another matter. It is our intention to help him and not be a hindrance.

This is the most opportune time in history to be a helpful partner in the maintenance of Lake Powell and the Colorado River. It is an opportunity we can’t let go by.

Fill Lake Powell: 3588!!
 

jayfromtexas

Well-Known Member
As a whitewater raft enthusiast, I can say we too want to use the farmer's water as it flows on by. I think an elevation of 3588-3600 is reasonable. As I mentioned before I agree that removing GCD and draining Lake Powell is impractical. I do however believe that the days of Powell hitting 3700 may be over.
 

flowerbug

Well-Known Member
That’s a good article, accurate in its details. The detail I didn’t know before (and I assume accurate) is that the Colorado River accounts for 36% of AZ’s water supply. By contrast, Colorado River water is something like 10% of California’s supply, so you can see how this is a much bigger deal in AZ…

it is also a more junior water right so that dependency is really shaky IMO. the way AZ dragged their feet really did not help them out later on and it seems like that has come back to bite them in the hiney parts. i don't know the full history of the negotiations of the pact or why it ended up as it did.

the percentages stated are also a bit misleading there since CA is so much bigger in terms of population (41ish million vs AZ's population of 7.6 million) - a more direct comparison would be 36% of 7.6 vs. 10% of 41 = math magic results in AZ 2.74 vs. CA 4.1
 

Colorado Expat

Well-Known Member
Just provided the weekly update to the major river inflow graph in the opening post. I added a new line for the outflow measured at Lees Ferry.

There was a large jump in inflow last week, though still well below average. Outflow jumped about 12% three days prior, from almost 9K CFS to a bit over 10K CFS and has been holding pretty steady at that level. The outflow shows regular dips every weekend. Lower hydropower demand then, perhaps?

Here's the latest graph
View attachment 18458
Thanks, this is a very useful plot for tracking purposes.
 
Top