Site: John Fleck

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John Fleck: On Sunday, I crashed Lake Mead.

Sunday afternoon, I crashed Lake Mead. This was not difficult. Each spring, UNM Water Resources Program students do a case study of a river basin as they’re learning dynamic simulation modeling, linking hydrology, economics, and rules. This year, we’re doing the Lower Colorado River Basin. In the WRP curriculum, we’re big on understanding the rules ...

The post On Sunday, I crashed Lake Mead.

2019-01-14 21:08   Click to comment

John Fleck: Why I frame water collaboration/conflict the way I do

Communication experts have long expressed concerns that framing an issue as a conflict might make finding a reasonable path forward harder by suggesting that people need to choose sides and vanquish their opponents in order to succeed. Besley et. al on The Conversation

The post Why I frame water collaboration/conflict the way I do appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2019-01-11 17:00   Click to comment

John Fleck: #tbt to that time Lake Mead was full

In keeping with Twitter’s “Throwback Thursday” (#tbt) tradition, I offered up this picture today of Lake Mead, full. As near as we’ve been able to determine, this was taken in 1987. Here’s a picture I took in December from near the same spot:

The post #tbt to that time Lake Mead was full appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2019-01-10 20:37   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River data

In the years I’ve been working on Colorado River stuff, I’ve collected a lot of data. Most of this is stuff the river managers at the Bureau of Reclamation have generously shared with me. Some I’ve assembled myself by transcribing old paper/pdf records of historic documents. Some of the Bureau’s most important data is already ...

The post Colorado River data appeared first on jfleck at…

2019-01-09 03:46   Click to comment

John Fleck: MWD increases its Lake Mead withdrawals

@mwdh2o has moved to a six pump flow on the Colorado River Aqueduct to start the new year in case the Drought Contingency Plan not finalized. Can’t afford to leave 5-600,000 AF of ICS storage stuck in Lake Mead if we go into shortage. — Jeffrey Kightlinger (@8thGenCA) January 5, 2019 For background: Meanwhile the ...

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2019-01-05 20:03   Click to comment

John Fleck: Happy New Year, Lake Mead dropped another foot in 2018

By the numbers, Lake Mead began 2019 at elevation 1,081.47 feet above sea level, down a foot in 2018. This comes in spite of yet another Upper Basin release of 9 million acre feet from Glen Canyon Dam last year, an extra 770,000 acre feet above the 8.23 million acre feet the Lower Basin can ...

The post Happy New Year, Lake Mead dropped another foot in 2018 appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2019-01-01 17:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: “What happens if we turn here?”

I turned down this alley in Albuquerque’s Old Town on a bike ride this morning, amazed that I’d never noticed it before. I spend a lot of time on the bike. I’m long past my youthful zoomy lifestyle, but in my slow and plodding way I have come to deeply value my time wandering Albuquerque. ...

The post “What happens if we turn here?” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2019-01-01 05:08   Click to comment

John Fleck: The Last Christmas of Sears

If I was still a newspaper reporter, I would have been begging for this story.

The post The Last Christmas of Sears appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-23 22:35   Click to comment

John Fleck: DCP by the numbers

I’m forever needing to look up these numbers, sticking them here so I can find them easily, and y’all can as well. It’s the cuts by Lake Mead elevation levels for the various parties under the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan and the related Minute 323 between the U.S. and Mexico:

The post DCP by the numbers appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-19 13:37   Click to comment

John Fleck: Megadrought

In the southwest…. “The last 19 years have been equivalent to the worst 19 years of the worst mega-droughts on record,” said Park Williams, a professor of bioclimatology at Columbia University, at a presentation of the work. Only three recent mega-droughts—in the late 800s, the mid-1100s, and the late 1500s—were worse than the current period, ...

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2018-12-18 21:04   Click to comment

John Fleck: Wait I think I solved the Colorado River problem

Conjure Water is a mage spell that provides the caster with mana-replenishing drinks. There is no limit to the amount of water a mage may conjure or carry. Fetch us some mages. (source)

The post Wait I think I solved the Colorado River problem appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-16 03:28   Click to comment

John Fleck: Beyond the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

LAS VEGAS – With Commissioner of Reclamation Brenda Burman’s ultimatum to the Colorado River Basin States at the just-completed Colorado River Water Users Association meeting in Las Vegas, it seems we’re going to get a Drought Contingency Plan, or something very much like it, in 2019. This could be very messy, but it suggests that ...

The post Beyond the Colorado River Drought Contingency…

2018-12-16 03:13   Click to comment

John Fleck: Elwood Mead on the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

Mead, Elwood. (1903). Irrigation Institutions.

The post Elwood Mead on the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-09 21:56   Click to comment

John Fleck: The tiny fragility of Hoover Dam

Looking for art for the new book, I ran across the above picture from the amazing Library of Congress collection of Carol Highsmith’s work. Hoover Dam as cultural icon is big and muscular, which is by design and also a function of the fact that it’s hard to get back and see the dam in ...

The post The tiny fragility of Hoover Dam appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-09 13:36   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River water use keeps dropping

New data from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation shows that total 2017 water use in the basin – 14.07 million acre feet – was the lowest since 1984. The total here includes estimated consumptive use in the Upper Basin, Lower Basin, Mexico, plus reservoir evaporation and estimated evapotranspiration by native vegetation.

The post Colorado River water use keeps dropping appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-12-04 03:30   Click to comment

John Fleck: Another Arizona Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan sticking point?

A letter this afternoon from Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke to Central Arizona Project board members, also circulated to Arizona’s Drought Contingency Plan Steering Committee, suggests another hangup in Arizona’s efforts to agree on a plan to reduce its Colorado River water use. It involves the distinction between using water from on-river ...

The post Another…

2018-12-03 23:11   Click to comment

John Fleck: 1078.32

The surface level of Lake Mead, which holds water supplies for Nevada, Arizona, California, Sonora, and Baja, ended November 2018 at 1,078.32 feet above sea level. That is 2-1/2 feet below last year at this time.

The post 1078.32 appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-12-01 12:26   Click to comment

John Fleck: I think (?) there’s an Arizona Colorado River deal? Episode II

I’m moderating a panel on the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan at this year’s meeting of the Colorado River Water Users Association in Las Vegas (NV) in a couple of weeks. What shall we talk about? Arizona’s water agencies, cities, farmers and tribes haven’t quite sealed a Colorado River deal. But they’re getting closer. The ...

The post I think (?) there’s an Arizona Colorado River deal?…

2018-11-30 13:10   Click to comment

John Fleck: I think (?) there’s an Arizona Colorado River deal?

With the announcement of a meeting this afternoon of Arizona’s Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan steering committee, it appears we have the general shape of an agreement to settle the thorny issue of how to reduce Arizona’s use of Colorado River water. Not a lot of details yet, but it appears that Pinal County farmers ...

The post I think (?) there’s an Arizona Colorado River deal?

2018-11-29 15:54   Click to comment

John Fleck: the ghosts of water “resources”

Driving in a pickup down a ditchbank on Albuquerque’s valley floor some years ago, Joey Trujillo pointed off to the west, to a line of trees snaking away into what is now a tony suburban neighborhood. It was the neighborhood we now call “Dietz Farm”, named after the Dietz family, affluent interlopers from the east ...

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2018-11-24 18:31   Click to comment

John Fleck: 20 years and 5,767 posts on, a thank you note to Inkstain readers

Thanks, y’all, for 20 years of stopping by to read stuff here. There’s a game we used to play back in the day called “googlewhack”. It involved searching for a two-word phrase that was unique – that had never before been catalogued in Google’s even-then-vast archive of humanity’s digital use of written language. We’d stick ...

The post 20 years and 5,767 posts on, a thank you note to Inkstain…

2018-11-19 04:03   Click to comment

John Fleck: Bruce Babbitt: Pinal County Farmers and CAP Risk Setting Off a Colorado River Water War

Wow. Bruce Babbitt, former Arizona governor and Secretary of the Interior, has a striking op-ed in tomorrow’s Arizona Republic placing the blame for Arizona’s current Colorado River failures squarely on Pinal County farmers and the leadership of the Central Arizona Project. Ultimately the responsibility for approving Arizona’s part of the critical Colorado River Drought Contingency ...

The…

2018-11-18 04:05   Click to comment

John Fleck: Should Arizona not get its act together, hints of a six-state Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

Elizabeth Whitman had an incredibly important bit of business in her Phoenix New Times setup piece for today’s Central Arizona Water Conservation District meeting on the Colorado River DCP: “Negotiations in Arizona are at a critical stage,” said Patricia Aaron, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation. The bureau was “cautiously optimistic,” she added, but, ...

The post Should Arizona not…

2018-11-15 22:37   Click to comment

John Fleck: On the occasion of Inkstain’s 20th birthday, defenestrating the old Town Lodge

.”Defenestration” is the word that stumped me, a linguistic failure that hung over my entire journalistic career. It was a challenge from the late Jim Timmermann, an offhand game in which we’d pick an odd word or phrase and be challenged to get it into the newspaper. A fenestration is, per the Oxford English Dictionary, ...

The post On the occasion of Inkstain’s 20th birthday, defenestrating…

2018-11-14 14:30   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River DCP: “Arizona will figure it out, Episode III”

Sitting around on a Saturday night listening to WBGO and clearing out my inbox after being away most of the week. Here, from the solution space, a proposal from Arizona’s Colorado River Indian Tribes to help Arizona reduce its use of the river’s water. The CRIT have some of the bestest most senior Colorado River ...

The post Colorado River DCP: “Arizona will figure it out, Episode III”

2018-11-11 01:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River DCP: “Arizona will figure it out, Episode II”

Interesting letter from the Central Arizona Water Conservation District board leadership regarding Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan. Not sure what this means, seems kind of important. I guess we all need to set aside some time on Nov. 15 to find out. CAWCD Nov. 8, 2018 re Colorado River DCP (PDF) CAWCD Nov. 8, ...

The post Colorado River DCP: “Arizona will figure it out, Episode II”

2018-11-11 00:49   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan: “Arizona will figure it out.”

At Colorado Mesa University’s Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum this week in Grand Junction, a distinguished panel of the Colorado River Basin brain trust cheerfully dodged an audience question about what the basin states’ Plan B is if Arizona can’t come to the internal agreement needed to sign on to a Colorado River Drought ...

The post Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan: “Arizona…

2018-11-10 23:26   Click to comment

John Fleck: The Colorado River and the Last Gasp of the “Lords of Yesterday”

MY BOOK IS COMING OUT IN PAPERBACK IN MARCH YOU SHOULD BUY COPIES FOR ALL YOUR FRIENDS IT WILL FIT MORE EASILY IN YOUR BAG FOR PLANE FLIGHTS I STILL HAVE SHARPIES AND WILL SIGN IT FOR YOU WHEN WE NEXT MEET

The post The Colorado River and the Last Gasp of the “Lords of Yesterday” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-10-30 17:31   Click to comment

John Fleck: Arizona’s efforts to cope with reduced Colorado River supplies, moving in reverse

Last week’s cancellation of a key meeting in Arizona to work on the state’s plan to reduce its Colorado River water use was an “oh shit, what now?” moment. (Ian James’ story on the cancellation and the current state of the discussions here.) In the wake of the cancellation, there’s now a new letter, this ...

The post Arizona’s efforts to cope with reduced Colorado River supplies, moving in…

2018-10-29 19:00   Click to comment

John Fleck: Whither the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan?

Writing something new, I’ve been looking back at some stuff I wrote a few years ago about the Colorado River. The solution is, in a sense, straightforward. Everyone in the Colorado River Basin has to use less water. It’s possible to apply a simple arithmetic wave of the arm and say, for example, that we ...

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2018-10-28 21:24   Click to comment


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