Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Independent review sought of Colorado River management

The federal government’s research of the over-tapped Colorado River may well have overstated how much water the river will have and how much people will demand from it, says a group of 23 scientists, including three University of Arizona researchers. Those concerns and others have led the researchers to call for an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences of how the federal government is researching the river’s problems, issues and management needs. In a letter this week to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the scientists say federal research neglects a wide range of concerns about the Colorado River ecosystem and the massive population that depends on it. Those concerns include water quality, impacts on groundwater supplies from river use, climate change, flood management, survival of native fish and other issues. A poorly researched and managed river will lead to more vulnerabilities and expenses, they say. The letter underscores the broad dissatisfaction that researchers and conservationists in general have with how the feds are overseeing the river, whose reservoirs — including Lake Powell and Lake Mead — have steadily dropped during a 15-year drought...more

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