Site: John Fleck

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John Fleck: Water is for fighting over (not) now just $4.99 for the e-book

Thanks to the folks at Island Press, screamin’ deal on Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths about Water in the West right now.

The post Water is for fighting over (not) now just $4.99 for the e-book appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-07-05 18:13   Click to comment

John Fleck: While I have your attention….

I’ve had quite a burst of new readership in the last few months, people apparently interested in the challenges facing the Colorado River, the people who use it, and the natural systems that depend on it. Thanks for that, and welcome! For those who missed it, I’ve written a book that warned about what we’re ...

The post While I have your attention…. appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-26 02:30   Click to comment

John Fleck: For central Arizona farmers, coming to terms with the reality that a Colorado River allocation is not an entitlement

As Arizona wrestles with the reality that its Colorado River supply as measured in actual wet water rather than the “paper water” doled out by the Law of the River, we’re getting a lesson in the difference between an “allocation” of Colorado River water and an “entitlement”. The place to watch this play out right ...

The post For central Arizona farmers, coming to terms with the reality that a…

2018-06-25 13:33   Click to comment

John Fleck: New USBR modeling suggests a bigger risk of Colorado River shortage than y’all might think

The conventional calculation of Colorado River shortage risk, which people like me frequently report, shows a 51 percent chance of Lake Mead dropping into “shortage”, below the magic trip line of elevation 1,075 at which mandatory cutbacks kick in, in 2020. But a new approach to modeling risk, which lots of folks (*cough* me *cough*) ...

The post New USBR modeling suggests a bigger risk of…

2018-06-24 01:08   Click to comment

John Fleck: Rio Grande at Embudo – “slouching towards intermittency”

A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. – William Butler Yeats A friend sent me a note last night with the memorable subject line – “slouching towards ...

The post Rio Grande at Embudo – “slouching towards intermittency” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-23 11:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: When people find out how cheap their water is, they use more of it

The conventional wisdom (and by “conventional wisdom” I guess I mean “what Fleck thought until just now”) is that giving water users better information about their usage and the price they’re paying could be a useful water conservation tool. Well, maybe not, according to some interesting new research by Daniel A. Brent of Pennsylvania State University ...

The post When people find out how…

2018-06-22 02:13   Click to comment

John Fleck: Upper Colorado River Commission ending participation in the System Conservation Pilot Program

The Upper Colorado River Commission, at its meeting this afternoon (Wed. June 20, 2018) in Santa Fe, voted to end its participation in the Colorado River System Conservation Pilot Program, in which water users, mostly farmers, were compensated for conservation measures in an effort to create “system water”. “System water” is a tricky concept, and ...

The post Upper Colorado River Commission…

2018-06-21 02:01   Click to comment

John Fleck: “We’re in uncharted territory”

Luke Runyon had a piece over the weekend about the latest Bureau of Reclamation 24-month study, the increasingly bleak monthly modeling run that shows Colorado River reservoir levels dipping and diving in a way that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Jeff Kightlinger described thus: “We’re in uncharted territory for the system,” says Jeff ...

The post “We’re in…

2018-06-19 14:38   Click to comment

John Fleck: Good news, or at least news that’s less bad, on the Gila

The U.S. Geological Survey took new measurements last week to calibrate the key gauge on the Gila River in New Mexico, and the rating curve has now been adjusted upward. The good news is that 2018 is no longer a record low year. Thursday’s revised flow of 14 cubic feet per second was still the ...

The post Good news, or at least news that’s less bad, on the Gila appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-06-18 17:43   Click to comment

John Fleck: The Sandias

The remnants of Hurricane Bud blew through central New Mexico today, the first big rain we’ve had since forever. As the rains were clearing out, I hopped on my bicycle to check out the neighborhood flood control channel (as one does) and lucked into one of Albuquerque’s great sunset treats. It happens when the sun ...

The post The Sandias appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-17 02:36   Click to comment

John Fleck: Amy Haas to replace retiring Don Ostler as Executive Director of the Upper Colorado River Commission

Amy Haas, deputy director and general counsel of the Upper Colorado River Commission, will replace the retiring Don Ostler as the UCRC’s executive director July 1. Amy, formerly general counsel of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, has been with the commission since last year, and has a long history of working within the interstate ...

The post Amy Haas to replace retiring Don Ostler…

2018-06-15 21:33   Click to comment

John Fleck: At Glenwood Springs, the fourth driest Colorado River flows in a half century

A typical John Fleck morning these days involves a cup of coffee (or two) and a curlup in the comfy chair as dawn creeps over my backyard while I wander the western United States looking at USGS stream gauges. Today’s gauge-of-the-day is my friend and colleague Eric Kuhn’s, at Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It’s just downstream ...

The post At Glenwood Springs, the fourth driest Colorado River…

2018-06-14 13:50   Click to comment

John Fleck: By request, a graph of the San Francisco River near Glenwood, New Mexico

I’ve no idea what’s going on here, but a reader asked, so here’s a graph of the San Francisco River near Glenwood, New Mexico.

The post By request, a graph of the San Francisco River near Glenwood, New Mexico appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-14 02:46   Click to comment

John Fleck: Circa 1983, an early view of climate change and western water

From New York Times reporter Philip Shabecoff’s October 1983 piece examining some of the more significant findings in a new National Academies report on the implications of climate change: Paul E. Waggoner, a member of the assessment committee, said in an interview that ”people in California will be drinking their water,” instead of using it ...

The post Circa 1983, an early view of climate…

2018-06-12 15:22   Click to comment

John Fleck: Central New Mexico water agency cutting back some of its irrigators

Reservoir levels dropped over the weekend past a critical trigger point, causing the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District to curtail water deliveries this week to about 5,000 acres of farmland in central New Mexico. With El Vado Reservoir on the Rio Chama just 26 percent full, the decision to cut deliveries to the MRGCD’s “water ...

The post Central New Mexico water agency cutting back some…

2018-06-12 11:48   Click to comment

John Fleck: Drought, climate change – we know more than we used to

Ben Cook, Justin Mankis, and Kevin Anchukaitis have an extremely helpful review paper in Current Climate Change Reports (ungated, thanks) sorting out what we do and don’t know about the impact of climate change on droughts. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report was cautious in its assessment of our knowledge of drought, reporting only “low confidence” ...

The post Drought, climate change – we…

2018-06-11 19:03   Click to comment

John Fleck: Golf

According to the USGS, there are 1,300 acres of golf course in Bernalillo County (Albuquerque etc.), using 6,100 acre feet per year of water. Which makes the water policy implications of this this Nolan Gray story fascinating: Golf is dying, many experts say. According to one study by the golf industry group Pellucid Corp., the ...

The post Golf appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-08 19:15   Click to comment

John Fleck: Lowest flow ever recorded on New Mexico’s Gila River

If my math is correct, flow on the Gila River gauge located near Gila, New Mexico, dropped today to the lowest ever measured, in a record that goes back 89 years. The red line is the daily flow, in cubic feet per second, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey. The cloud of gray lines ...

The post Lowest flow ever recorded on New Mexico’s Gila River appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-07 01:11   Click to comment

John Fleck: In water policy, we often refer to “the Mad Max scenario”

The post In water policy, we often refer to “the Mad Max scenario” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-06-06 17:27   Click to comment

John Fleck: Some context on central New Mexico’s big June 4 storm

Out bike riding yesterday morning, my friend Scot and I were watching the radar app and judging wind and storm direction, dodging the occasional raindrops with a spectacular sky around us. (In fact our ride was delayed because Scot had to put the goat in, something about lightning-goat risks.) But despite the stormy show, the ...

The post Some context on central New Mexico’s big June 4 storm

2018-06-04 18:27   Click to comment

John Fleck: railyard graffiti

The artists helpfully made sure the caboose’s ID number was still visible. update: According to the twitter hivemind (thanks @kzodasnowman and @evanheisman!) the artists leave the numbers exposed (or in this case repaint them in big letters on top of the art) so the railroad people won’t come and paint over the art. Also, there’s ...

The post railyard graffiti appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-06-02 14:51   Click to comment

John Fleck: How to crash Lake Mead: Step 1 – crash Lake Powell

A new analysis suggests Lake Powell could crash in less than three years if there were to be a repeat of drought (aridification?) conditions seen in the recent past. While the basin community’s attention has been focused on the risk of Lake Mead plummeting at some point in the future, Lake Powell at the bottom ...

The post How to crash Lake Mead: Step 1 – crash Lake Powell appeared first on

2018-05-29 22:12   Click to comment

John Fleck: How Lake Mead could crash

Speaking last week before the Imperial Irrigation District board, Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman showed this remarkable slide. It is remarkable for obvious reasons – it shows how easily we could crash Lake Mead! But it’s remarkable in a more subtle way that reflects a shift in our approach to the hydrologic analysis of the Colorado ...

The post How Lake Mead could crash appeared first…

2018-05-28 14:34   Click to comment

John Fleck: Record low flows on the Gila

Another of my attempts to visualize data from this remarkably bad water year in New Mexico. The cloud of gray lines is flow at the Gila gauge as the river leaves its headwaters mountains in southwestern New Mexico, one line for each year. The red line is this year – significantly lower than in any ...

The post Record low flows on the Gila appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-05-26 11:45   Click to comment

John Fleck: Old water – the San Luis People’s Ditch

I took the long way home from a meeting in Alamos, Colorado, yesterday to make a pilgrimage to San Luis. In the Culebra Valley of Colorado in the high country near the New Mexico border, San Luis lays claim to being the oldest town in Colorado, settled by the descendants of Spanish immigrant families. Native ...

The post Old water – the San Luis People’s Ditch appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-05-25 14:52   Click to comment

John Fleck: What’s left of the Rio Grande

I stopped on the Gail Ryba Bridge over the Rio Grande this morning, the bike bridge adjacent to Interstate 40 that offers one of the great views of our river. The morning light was lovely, I saw a couple of egrets in the ditch down below. I love this place. Flows right now are stable ...

The post What’s left of the Rio Grande appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-05-21 14:55   Click to comment


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