Site: John Fleck

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John Fleck: Arizona misters and the value of water

When we think today about Arizona’s water problems, we imagine large lawns in sprawling suburbs in and around Phoenix, golf courses, and “misters”—those devices that fritter away water into the hot desert air to cool the customers eating at outdoor restaurants in the Valley of the Sun. Me, in Water is For Fighting Over Lissa ...

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Today: 05:19   Click to comment

John Fleck: governance, adaptation, and climate change

Much of the “cultural cognition” problem around our climate politics and discourse derives from the politics of “mitigation” – the fact that the tools needed to reduce greenhouse gases are politically (culturally?) abhorrent to some, who in response dismiss the underlying science of climate change. This has the effect of foreclosing the second crucial climate ...

The post governance,…

2017-07-15 13:54   Click to comment

John Fleck: New Mexico’s dysfunctional water rights administration

The Albuquerque Journal’s Mark Oswald notes a remarkable milestone that passed today: SANTA FE — A water-rights lawsuit that is said to be the nation’s longest-running piece of litigation reached a crucial milestone here Friday, with a judge’s final decree that added only five pages to the thousands upon thousands generated since the proceedings known ...

The post New Mexico’s…

2017-07-15 03:33   Click to comment

John Fleck: A good year for New Mexico’s Colorado River supplies

Forecast flow through the Azotea Tunnel, which provides New Mexico’s San Juan-Chama Project supplies of Colorado River water to Albuquerque and central New Mexico, are forecast to be 152,000 acre feet for the 2016-17 water year, the highest flows of the 21st century.

The post A good year for New Mexico’s Colorado River supplies appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-07-14 02:39   Click to comment

John Fleck: birds and water in a changing West

Audubon has an excellent new report on risks to birds, and all that go with them, along the rivers and arid landscape lakes across western North America. Lots there, but I think this bit is especially important: Without reform, today’s water management framework could lead to severe water shortages to large numbers of people and ...

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2017-07-06 17:23   Click to comment

John Fleck: On Albuquerque’s public spaces and our very wicked problems

I’ve got a post up over at Better Burque about downtown crime, buses, Summerfest, and Albuquerque’s public spaces. I quoted Jane Jacobs, as one does:

The post On Albuquerque’s public spaces and our very wicked problems appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-07-04 19:39   Click to comment

John Fleck: Will an informal norm work here, or do I need a city permit for my amplified event?

Wandering the neighborhood on this morning’s bike ride, I ran across this sign: I’m reading Robert Ellickson’s 1991 book Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes. It’s a fascinating bit of legal scholarship about how residents of Shasta County, in California, manage the problems posed by cattle wandering off the ranch and onto other folks’ ...

The post Will an informal norm work here,…

2017-07-03 17:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: water (or lack thereof) in Indian Country

Native American lands have some of the poorest water infrastructure in the country: 13 percent of homes on reservations lack access to clean water or sanitation, a significant number compared to 0.6 percent for non-Native Americans. On the Navajo Nation, home to 250,000 people, 40 percent of people lack access to running water and depend ...

The post water (or lack thereof) in Indian Country

2017-07-01 13:34   Click to comment

John Fleck: Salton Sea fish, birds, in jeopardy even with more mitigation water

One suggested short term tool to deal with the shrinking Salton Sea is to continue putting in more water. New research suggests that, for fish and birds, it won’t help. “Mitigation water” is jargon for extra water currently diverted to the Salton Sea to make up for reduced agricultural runoff as efficiency improvements. (It’s hairy ...

The post Salton Sea fish, birds, in jeopardy even with…

2017-06-27 14:16   Click to comment

John Fleck: morning yoga on Albuquerque’s Rio Grande

Rivers, people, awesome in so many ways.

The post morning yoga on Albuquerque’s Rio Grande appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-26 13:51   Click to comment

John Fleck: Brad Udall’s western water climate change bibliography

Speaking earlier this month at the University of Colorado’s Martz Conference, Brad Udall offered what amounted to a bibliography, both helpful and deeply unnerving, of recent scientific literature documenting what we have learned in recent years about climate change and water in the Western United States, and what it tells us about our future prospects. ...

The post Brad Udall’s western water…

2017-06-24 23:20   Click to comment

John Fleck: on the Colorado River in Kremmling, a case study in coupled human and natural systems

One of the main focuses of the class I help teach in the fall, “Contemporary Issues in Water Management“, is the nature and function of “coupled human and natural systems”. (In fact, might say it’s the main focus of the entire UNM Water Resources Program, come to think of it.) One of the biggest difficulties ...

The post on the Colorado River in Kremmling, a case study in coupled human and…

2017-06-23 14:21   Click to comment

John Fleck: Decoupling, Colorado style

Bart Miller, Western Resources Advocates, on decoupling and Colorado’s push to close the gap between water supply and projected use: If cities continue on the track they’ve been on the last 15 years, which is reducing water use per capita by about 1 percent per year, that’s going to save a large chunk of the ...

The post Decoupling, Colorado style appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-22 14:10   Click to comment

John Fleck: Beyond the Cadillac Desert

Chuck Cullom, the Central Arizona Project’s Colorado River Programs Manager, asked a great question during my lunch talk last week at the Universities Council on Water Resources annual meeting. It was a panel with me and Bill and Rosemarie Alley, who’ve written a new book on groundwater that you should click on this link and ...

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2017-06-21 14:40   Click to comment

John Fleck: loss aversion and the latest Lake Mead forecast

The Bureau of Reclamation’s June Colorado River forecast projects Lake Mead ending 2018 at elevation 1,076.5 feet above sea level, three feet higher than the Bureau’s January projection of 1,073.5. If the forecast holds, that’s enough of an increase in Mead storage, thanks to a larger-than average snowpack in the Rockies, to avoid a shortage ...

The post loss aversion and the latest Lake Mead…

2017-06-17 20:23   Click to comment

John Fleck: so much water

Eric Kuhn points out that the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon on Colorado’s West Slope, and its major tributary here the Roaring Fork, peaked last Friday, right around the time I was up there gawking at all the water:   Flows on the Colorado River at Dotsero and the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs ...

The post so much water appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-14 14:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: Phoenix to pay Gila River Indian Communities to leave Colorado River water in Lake Mead

The Phoenix City Council today agreed to pay the Gila River Indian Communities $2 million as part of a deal to leave 40,000 acre feet of the Indian Communities’ Colorado River water in Lake Mead this year. The state of Arizona, the federal government, and the Walton Family Foundation also are contributing. From the city ...

The post Phoenix to pay Gila River Indian Communities to leave…

2017-06-14 04:32   Click to comment

John Fleck: The Glenwood Canyon bike path

In Glenwood Springs this weekend, a friend kindly acceded to my demand: “We must go on a Sunday morning bike ride up Glenwood Canyon.” It’s 16 miles of paved trail that run along the Colorado River. Like, right along the Colorado River, as you can see in the picture above. So close, in fact, that ...

The post The Glenwood Canyon bike path appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-12 00:32   Click to comment

John Fleck: Grand Ditch

KAWUNEECHE VALLEY – The Colorado River was flowing this morning at around 700 cubic feet per second at the USGS gauge near Baker Gulch. It felt like a lot of water – spilling the channel banks and out into the meadows, as is its way in a good spring runoff. If you look downstream at ...

The post Grand Ditch appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-11 04:16   Click to comment

John Fleck: As climate warms, a decline in snowmelt runoff

Based on hydrological model simulations and a new snowmelt tracking algorithm, we show that 53% of the total runoff in the western United States originates as snowmelt, despite only 37% of the precipitation falling as snow. In mountainous areas, snowmelt is responsible for 70% of the total runoff. By 2100, the contribution of snowmelt to ...

The post As climate warms, a decline in snowmelt…

2017-06-06 14:09   Click to comment

John Fleck: Albuquerque, y’all

People, this is right in the middle of my town. Right in the middle. This is about half a mile from where I took the last picture, up a new riding and walking trail just north of the old Route 66 bridge right in the middle of Albuquerque. The river’s up this year, it was ...

The post Albuquerque, y’all appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-06-05 02:10   Click to comment

John Fleck: Desalination and water’s scale issue

A sometimes poorly understood piece of the water story is the question of scale – the truly enormous quantities of water required to do human stuff like be a city or grow our food. This is the shortcoming of well-meaning suggestions like building a pipeline to the Missouri River or a string of desalination plants ...

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2017-06-03 18:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: #tbt – Dorothea Lange in the dry lands of eastern Oregon

Some day I’m going to find an excuse to write – I mean really write – about Dorothea Lange. One of my favorite Internet rabbit holes is the Library of Congress photo archives, and one of my favorite sub-rabbit holes there is the work of Dorothea Lange. For much of the 1930s Lange, working for ...

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2017-06-02 03:27   Click to comment

John Fleck: Imperial Irrigation District is saving a lot of water

There’s something that really jumps out in the Bureau of Reclamation’s final accounting of 2016 Lower Colorado River Basin water use. In May, the Bureau releases the official accounting, which is a meticulous, tedious, closely watched and monitored and argued over report on who used how much water on the Lower Colorado. Much to digest in the ...

The post Imperial Irrigation District is…

2017-05-31 00:20   Click to comment

John Fleck: Why you should be reading Brett Walton’s “Federal Water Tap”

Did you know that there are 16 separate federal “activities and programs” with some sort of jurisdiction over and responsibility for rural water? 18 for drought mitigation and response? I did not. I mean, I had a general idea, but not in the sort of excruciating and incredibly useful detail as you can find in ...

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2017-05-30 15:29   Click to comment

John Fleck: Water rights adjudication, Utah style

Here in New Mexico, in the relatively populous Middle Rio Grande Valley, we have no expectation that water rights – the legal question of who is entitled to the use of how much water – will ever be clearly determined, at least not in the lifetimes of anyone involved in water management today. The institutional ...

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2017-05-30 05:07   Click to comment

John Fleck: River management in the anthropocene

“A lively debate, provocatively labeled ‘conservation in the Anthropocene,’,” my University of New Mexico colleague Ben Jones and collaborators wrote last year,  “has been taking place over what conservation, and related notions of naturalness and preservation, means where large natural systems are increasingly inter-connected or coupled to human systems.” In particular, Jones et al. were ...

2017-05-29 02:56   Click to comment

John Fleck: Lots and lots of people seem to be going to our National Parks

Driving back this week the long way from Las Vegas, Lissa and I were stunned by Zion National Park. The river was high, the rocks were red, and the people were everywhere. I’m guessing it’s been 50 years since my first Zion camping trip, with Mom and Dad and Lisa and one of those big ...

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2017-05-27 21:47   Click to comment

John Fleck: desert rats

ROGERS SPRING – Rogers Spring is a strange apparition in the desert, 400 gallons per minute burbling out of the side of a mountain and down through an oasis of palm trees before the water peters out into the creosote of the Mojave Desert. Driving up out of Kingman last Sunday, on our way to ...

The post desert rats appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-05-25 03:02   Click to comment

John Fleck: When a water supply problem becomes an air quality problem

Matt Weiser (Water Deeply) has a nice interview with Mike Cohen (Pacific Institute) about one of the most interesting policy conundrums in Colorado River Basin water governance – the question of the Salton Sea. Here’s the sequence. California needs to figure out how to use less Colorado River water. Since the biggest chunk of the ...

The post When a water supply problem becomes an air quality…

2017-05-20 22:48   Click to comment


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