Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Monday, July 30, 2007

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From email from the Bureau of Reclamation (Dan Crabtree): "The recent monsoonal moisture in the Upper Gunnison Basin has kept Blue Mesa Reservoir at a fairly stable elevation through July resulting in the need for increased releases from the Aspinall Unit. On Tuesday July 31st releases from Crystal Reservoir will increase by 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) making flows in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Gunnison Gorge about 700 cfs."

5:01:05 PM    

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Here's an opinion piece about the effects of climate warming on flood control projects, from The San Francisco Chronicle. From the article:

A warming climate threatens New Orleans with increasingly intense hurricanes and a rising sea level. Similarly, Sacramento is witnessing a long-term trend of increasingly high floods washing down from the Sierra. The limitations of conventional flood control will become ever more apparent as global warming-induced super-storms test dams and levees far beyond their intended limits. Fortunately there is a better way to deal with floods -- the "soft path" of flood-risk management.

This approach assumes all anti-flood infrastructure can fail and that this failure must be planned for. Instead of spending billions of dollars vainly trying to eliminate flooding, we need to recognize that floods will happen and learn to live with them as best we can. This means reducing the speed, size and duration of floods by restoring river meanders and wetlands, and by improving drainage. It means doing all we can to get out of floods' destructive path with improved warning and evacuation measures. It means developing plans to help communities recover from flood disasters. And it means discouraging development in areas that will inevitably flood. It also means protecting our most valuable assets. Houses can be raised on stilts, as along the Russian River. By removing levees that protect relatively low-value land, we can help free up funds to maintain essential levees protecting urbanized areas, such as Sacramento.

Here's the link to the report Before the Deluge: Coping with Floods in a Changing Climate from the International Rivers Network.

Category: Colorado Water

9:34:55 AM    

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