By now, it’s old news that the Colorado River — notwithstanding the current abundant water year — is generally shrinking, and is expected to shrink more in coming decades. The states that share the river completed a drought plan earlier this year that brings them closer to living within currently available supplies, and a new round of negotiations on long-term management of the river is due to begin next year.
However, a new report warns that planning for gradually declining water supplies, as difficult as that is, may not be enough to adequately prepare for the future. In May, the Colorado River Research Group released a report warning that water planners should also take into account “black swan” low probability, high impact events. The research group is a consortium of well-known scholars focused on the Colorado River Basin, and all their reports can be found at www.coloradoriverresearchgroup.org.
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