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Other Past Issues:

Drought Along the Colorado River
Volume 4 Number 2 March/April 2005

In 2004, Lake Mead and Lake Powell both experienced their lowest reservoir elevations since Lake Powell was filled in the late 1960s. Although the 2005 water year looks more favorable than the previous five drought years, it would take about a decade of average flows for the reservoirs to recover. Water supplies, water quality, and power supplies already have been affected throughout the Colorado River Basin. As the possibility looms of a true shortage in which states face reduced allocations, the need for better accounting and more accurate hydrologic data comes to the forefront. Rather than each state fighting for its individual share, as occurred in the past, states now are working together to face not just the current drought, but to improve long-term management of the river.

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©2005 Arizona Board of Regents