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Water supply from Colorado River to fall short, says study

14 December 2012

A study suggests that the water supply from the Colorado River may fall short by 2060.

A detailed study conducted by the US Bureau of Reclamation and the seven Colorado River Basin states has suggested that in the coming years water supply from the Colorado River Basin will be unable to meet growing demands in a changing climate.

The study also suggested that river system could be negatively impacted by climate changes resulting in dry and warm weather

It is expected that these phenomenon may lead to a water shortage of about 3.2 million acre-feet by 2060.

Water conservation, water reusage and water banking are some of the steps that have been recommended by the study to prepare for the future water shortages.

Colorado River covers parts of seven states; Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

San Diego County Water Authority Colorado River Programme director Halla Razak said the report supports other studies which claimed for years that in the changing climate, dependency on the river is not a reliable option.

"The Colorado River will continue to be an important water supply for San Diego County for decades - but it is subject to forces outside our control," Razak said.

"To address this and other supply challenges, the water authority is implementing an aggressive supply diversification strategy.

"This latest analysis is a good reminder that the supply and demand imbalance is a long-term problem that demands long-term thinking, planning and implementation."

San Diego County Water Authority is pursuing to develop local water supply which includes purchasing water from Carlsbad desalination plant.

The authority also wants to secure reliable water via agriculture to urban water conservation and transfer programme.


Image: A study suggests that the water supply from the Colorado River may fall short by 2060. Photo: Gonzo fan2007.