Site: John Fleck

Slant: Warmist

Active: yes

Recent Articles

John Fleck: Crossing Interstate 25

I’ve a piece up at Better Burque about our adventures today trying to find a way to cross the interstate on our bicycles. Don’t try this kids, we’re professionals. No, not professionals, dangerous amateurs.

The post Crossing Interstate 25 appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-02-18 23:51   Click to comment

John Fleck: “drought” – Philp on weather, water, and yesteryear’s language

Tom Philp had a great piece in Water Deeply last week about the language we use: Water policy becoming a prisoner of its own limited vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the weather. Here is a case that “drought” and “normal” belong in the dustbin of history, for their overuse can lead to the wrong conversation. ...

The post “drought” – Philp on weather, water, and yesteryear’s…

2018-02-15 17:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: The Rio Grande forecast keeps getting worse

The preliminary Feb. 1 forecast for runoff on New Mexico’s rivers, out  this evening, is now projecting record or near-record low flows for the 2018 runoff season. It would take an epic wave of wet storms from here on out to bring the river to anything approaching a “normal” year, and no such epic wave ...

The post The Rio Grande forecast keeps getting worse appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-02-06 01:17   Click to comment

John Fleck: Keeping Colorado’s Crystal River wet

Sarah Tory had an interesting piece Friday about an effort to keep water in Colorado’s Crystal River, a tributary of the Roaring Fork (Carbondale area, or Aspen for those of a certain geographical bent). Tory’s piece does a good job of explaining the institutional complexities of an agreement that spans potentially both opportunities for exploiting ...

The post Keeping Colorado’s Crystal River…

2018-02-04 16:08   Click to comment

John Fleck: Albuquerque loves its art

The post Albuquerque loves its art appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-02-04 15:45   Click to comment

John Fleck: Water Cycle Wellness

Fixing our Broken Water Cycle: A Conversation with Authors Sandra Postel and Abbie Landis, Webinar Feb. 12

The post Water Cycle Wellness appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-01-27 12:34   Click to comment

John Fleck: The central challenge on the Colorado River

I’ve been thinking about the central communication challenge as we face down yet another dry year amid the continued drumbeat of Upper Basin talk about finding new ways to take more water out of the Colorado River. It goes back to something I wrote in my book: Within the network of state and water-agency representatives ...

The post The central challenge on the Colorado River appeared first on…

2018-01-21 21:46   Click to comment

John Fleck: #tbt to that time New Mexico tried to demand a Gila River Compact

For today’s #tbt (Throwback Thursday), a return to the remarkable era of Steve Reynolds in New Mexico water management, and that time Reynolds tried to give New Mexico an effective veto over the Central Arizona Project. Students in this year’s UNM Water Resources Program spring class are doing a case study this year on New ...

The post #tbt to that time New Mexico tried to demand a Gila River…

2018-01-18 15:25   Click to comment

John Fleck: What Did We Know and When Did We Know It: How Much Water Does the Colorado River Really Have?

I’ll be yammering in public Thursday in Albuquerque, y’all should come! What Did We Know and When Did We Know It: How Much Water Does the Colorado River Really Have? In retrospect, it is clear that the 1922 Colorado River Compact was negotiated during a historically wet period, and that as a result the agreement ...

The post What Did We Know and When Did We Know It: How Much Water Does the…

2018-01-16 22:02   Click to comment

John Fleck: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

Last week I noted the disturbing analogy of 1976-77 for the Colorado River Basin, a year eerily similar in the early months of snowpack development to 2017-18. In addition to the major drops in reservoir levels, 1976-77 produced four of the eight best-selling albums of all time: Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell The Eagles: Greatest Hits ...

The post You can check out any time you like, but you can…

2018-01-15 04:19   Click to comment

John Fleck: Initial forecast: Lakes Mead and Powell headed for record low in 2018

With an underwhelming snowpack right now, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s initial 2018 forecast (pdf here) projects combined storage in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two primary reservoirs on the Colorado River, will drop to 21.7 million acre feet by the end of 2018. That would be the lowest Mead/Powell combined year end storage ...

The post Initial forecast: Lakes Mead and Powell headed for…

2018-01-13 00:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: It finally rained in Albuquerque

It finally rained yesterday morning in Albuquerque, a bit after 8 a.m., ending a 96-day dry streak. The water in the bottom of my gauge looked like strong tea as the rain washed out three months’ dust, and the relief was not measurable, but large. I ended up with 0.09 inch (2.3 mm) at my ...

The post It finally rained in Albuquerque appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-01-11 12:33   Click to comment

John Fleck: On the need for federal legislation to implement Colorado River drought plans

Eric Kuhn* of the Colorado River District wrote an interesting memo (pdf here) for his board’s meeting next week that lays out the options and reasoning behind current discussions about whether federal legislation will be needed to implement Colorado River Basin drought plans. The “Law of the River”, which governs allocation, distribution, and management of ...

The post On the need for federal…

2018-01-10 17:55   Click to comment

John Fleck: What happened in the Colorado River Basin in the winter of 1976-77?

At yesterday’s monthly Colorado Basin River Forecast Center briefing, Greg Smith noted, by way of analogy, the winter of 1976-77. Smith explained that he wasn’t forecasting – the fact that the evolution of this year’s forecast is similar to 1976-77 doesn’t mean that the rest of this year will be like that year, or that ...

The post What happened in the Colorado River Basin in the winter of…

2018-01-09 21:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: Overcoming “use it or lose it” on the Colorado – an example

Yesterday I pointed out how much water is being stashed in Lake Mead as an example of how folks on the Colorado River are overcoming the old “use it or lose it” problem in western water. Here’s another example, this time with water taken off of the river and stored underground, in this case excess water ...

The post Overcoming “use it or lose it” on the Colorado – an example appeared first on…

2018-01-07 12:39   Click to comment

John Fleck: Overcoming “use it or lose it” on the Colorado River

The “use it or lose it” problem in western water happens when water users who conserve are penalized by having the saved water simply go to another user. A series of policy innovations over the last decade to overcome this problem are showing up right now in a big way in Lake Mead. In all, ...

The post Overcoming “use it or lose it” on the Colorado River appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-01-06 13:52   Click to comment

John Fleck: Not to alarm you further, but the Jan. 1 runoff forecast for New Mexico is really really bad

As I mentioned, this is the driest start to a water year in a century in Albuquerque. The preliminary Jan. 1 runoff forecast from the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service bears this out. The forecast, based on snow measurements, is stark. NRCS has 40 years of snow records, and for many sites, this is the ...

The post Not to alarm you further, but the Jan. 1 runoff forecast for New…

2018-01-04 16:15   Click to comment

John Fleck: How dry is it in New Mexico? It’s been a hundred years since it’s been this dry.

The last time we had any measurable precipitation at Albuquerque’s airport weather station, where we keep the records, was Oct. 4. That’s 90 days, the driest start to a water year since 1917-18.

The post How dry is it in New Mexico? It’s been a hundred years since it’s been this dry. appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-01-04 14:59   Click to comment

John Fleck: A brief tutorial in how bad the Colorado River Basin snowpack is right now

Let’s look at the new Colorado Basin River Forecast Center graphic of projected runoff into Lake Powell, shall we? The folks at CBRFC has done a lovely update of their graphical presentation. The story it’s telling right now – not so lovely. Let’s take this step by step. First, the green lines in the middle ...

The post A brief tutorial in how bad the Colorado River Basin snowpack is right now

2018-01-03 17:19   Click to comment

John Fleck: Lake Mead ends 2017 not in shortage

Lake Mead ends 2017 at elevation 1,082.5, almost two feet above last year at this time. Lake Powell ends the year at 3,623, up more than 20 feet from a year ago. Combined storage in the two primary Colorado River reservoirs ends the year up more than 2 million acre feet. This is in part ...

The post Lake Mead ends 2017 not in shortage appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-12-31 16:49   Click to comment

John Fleck: #geographybybike

I rode a lot this year – for transportation, exercise, and fun. And I GPS all my rides, because FUN! Here are the year’s rides in and around central Albuquerque.

The post #geographybybike appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-12-31 14:22   Click to comment

John Fleck: Managing the Colorado River to use less, rather than take more

In the summer of 1931, as the Bureau of Reclamation was launching work on Hoover Dam, flows on the Colorado River dropped to what, at the time, were low flows unprecedented in the few decades’ records on the river. In retrospect it should have been a clue that there was not going to reliably be ...

The post Managing the Colorado River to use less, rather than take more appeared first on jfleck…

2017-12-28 20:59   Click to comment

John Fleck: What’s old is new again – change on Albuquerque’s Route 66

The post What’s old is new again – change on Albuquerque’s Route 66 appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-12-28 16:22   Click to comment

John Fleck: New Mexico 2017 Water Year in Review

We’re up to 82 consecutive days without measurable precipitation at the Albuquerque airport, the 8th longest dry streak in more than a century of record keeping. And there’s nothing in the forecast out seven days, which is as far as it’s reliable to take it (butterfly effect and all). But OK, since you asked, the ...

The post New Mexico 2017 Water Year in Review appeared first on jfleck at…

2017-12-27 18:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: Merry Christmas

The post Merry Christmas appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-12-25 13:19   Click to comment

John Fleck: We will not be having a White Christmas this year in Albuquerque

The notion of a White Christmas is at best an inventive fiction, at worst a lie. Jody Rosen, in the wonderful book White Christmas: The Story of an American Song, put it thus: The longing for Christmas snowfall, now keenly felt everywhere from New Hampshire to New Guinea, seems to have originated with Berlin’s song. ...

The post We will not be having a White Christmas this year in Albuquerque

2017-12-24 14:59   Click to comment

John Fleck: What again is an acre foot?

The post What again is an acre foot? appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-12-18 03:06   Click to comment

John Fleck: Acting like the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan is Done

LAS VEGAS, NV – When I stopped at Boulder Harbor on Lake Mead Tuesday morning as I drove into Las Vegas, I saw this field of salt cedar taking hold on what had been a mud flat left by Mead’s declining water levels. It’s a clumsy metaphor for what happens when you get comfortable with ...

The post Acting like the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan is Done appeared first on jfleck at…

2017-12-14 21:31   Click to comment

John Fleck: Lake Mead: 61 percent empty or 39 percent full?

LAS VEGAS, NV – “Dry for Decades,” the tourist placard at Hoover Dam’s Nevada spillway says. “The last time the waters of the Colorado River flowed through this spillway was in 1983.” On my way to this year’s annual meeting of the Colorado River Water Users Association, I spent some time yesterday at Hoover Dam ...

The post Lake Mead: 61 percent empty or 39 percent full? appeared first on

2017-12-13 16:09   Click to comment

John Fleck: More on the literary heritage of Santa Ana winds, and fire

Laura Bliss turned to Joan Didion today to help make sense of Santa Anas, and fires, in our beloved Southern California: For all the praise of its “perfect weather,” L.A. is often seen as a city created in defiance of the laws of nature. Before flooded Houston acquired a similar reputation, critics argued that parched, ...

The post More on the literary heritage of Santa Ana winds, and fire

2017-12-07 03:56   Click to comment


comments powered by Disqus
299