Site: John Fleck

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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

John Fleck: Urban Trees and Water Use in Arid Climates: Insights from an Integrated Bioeconomic-Health Model, Jones and Fleck, 2018

Managing outdoor water use while maintaining urban tree cover is a key challenge for water managers in arid climates. Urban trees generate flows of ecosystem services in arid areas, but also require significant amounts of irrigation. In this paper, a bioeconomic-health model of trees and water use is developed to investigate management of an urban ...

The post Urban Trees and Water Use in…

2018-10-23 15:32   Click to comment

John Fleck: Gila River Indian Community balks at Arizona’s latest scheme for Colorado River cutback

A new letter from Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Lewis to Arizona’s two top Colorado River negotiators complains that the latest version of the state’s plan to reduce its use of Lake Mead water would make things worse, in way that actual gives some Central Arizona farmers more water than they would get under ...

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2018-10-22 16:32   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado’s east-west water divide poses risks for completion of a Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

tl;dr: A feud over how to implement Colorado River conservation adds another hurdle to final completion of the Colorado River Drought Conservation Plan. longer: While Colorado River Basin folks have been paying obsessive attention to Arizona’s struggle to come up with an internal agreement to cut back on its use of Colorado River, a second ...

The post Colorado’s east-west water divide poses…

2018-10-21 22:44   Click to comment

John Fleck: The draining of New Mexico’s reservoirs continues

Heron Reservoir, the first stop for central New Mexico’s imported Colorado River Basin water, dropped Oct. 10 to its lowest level since filling after it was first built in the 1970s: As I noted last month, total storage on New Mexico’s part of the Rio Grande system is at historic lows. I updated the numbers ...

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2018-10-14 16:25   Click to comment

John Fleck: Creating a conservation storage pool in Lake Powell

It’s apparently Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan week! Documents here. This is when we all gather around and try to make sense of the sweeping effort to ratchet up efforts to reduce Colorado River water use to keep the system from crashing. The plan you see before you is really not that different, at the ...

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2018-10-09 18:48   Click to comment

John Fleck: Mill Creek

Mill Creek is a bit of a cipher as it slips through Walla Walla. Flowing out of the Blue Mountains, it is the southeast Washington town’s primary water supply, and its geographic organizing principle. But the “creek” itself, as it flows through the town built on its banks, is confined to a concrete channel, in ...

The post Mill Creek appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-10-04 16:26   Click to comment

John Fleck: Come help solve the Rio Grande’s problems: the NM Interstate Stream Commission is hiring

A great job here, helping solve problems on the Rio Grande: The incumbent will be responsible for independent technical and scientific engineering decisions based on the principles and methods of hydrologic/water resources analyses and evaluation. The position will required advanced technical analyses of complex hydrologic and water resource engineering issues; an in depth understanding of…

2018-09-28 17:14   Click to comment

John Fleck: The drying of New Mexico’s Rio Grande

I went on a bike ride this morning to get a look at the Rio Grande through Albuquerque. Flows dropped below 100 cubic feet per second Thursday evening for just the second time since we moved here in 1990. Flows this low are hard to measure – we didn’t get a numerical picture of just ...

The post The drying of New Mexico’s Rio Grande appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-09-15 20:54   Click to comment

John Fleck: Tough to be a fish in the Colorado River

As Lake Powell drops, a waterfall forms at the reservoir’s upper end as the San Juan cuts down through sediments dropped when the reservoir was fuller. The resulting waterfall is a bit of an obstacle to fish: The razorback sucker population estimate for 2017 alone was 755 individuals and, relative to recent population estimates ranging ...

The post Tough to be a fish in the Colorado River

2018-09-11 14:54   Click to comment

John Fleck: Draining the reservoirs on New Mexico’s Rio Grande

tl;dr Total reservoir storage on the Rio Grande in New Mexico at the end of August was the lowest it’s been since at least 1980. longer (with graphs!) In our University of New Mexico Water Resources Program class, we’ve been discussing the state of the Rio Grande in real time. This feels like a remarkable ...

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2018-09-09 21:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: Don’t forget Lake Powell

From 2000 through the end of 2018 (projected), Lake Powell’s elevation will have dropped approximately 94 feet despite Upper Basin consumption only averaging about 4.5 million acre?feet (maf)/year. Several particularly dry years—including 2018—in a process of continuing aridification contributed to the drop, but ultimately it is the operational rules that are slowly but surely draining ...

2018-08-24 19:35   Click to comment

John Fleck: For not fighting over

Wolf and his colleagues combed through thousands of newspaper clippings and historical accounts of anything having to do with water at international borders. He ranked every event on a scale of -7 to +7, with numbers below zero indicating worsening degrees of conflict, and numbers above zero pointing to increasing degrees of collaboration. “It turns ...

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2018-08-19 01:52   Click to comment

John Fleck: Albuquerque, y’all

Sunrise over the Sandias, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aug. 17, 2018

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

2018-08-17 20:34   Click to comment

John Fleck: Colorado River shortage looming because Lower Basin is using too much water

tl;dr The Lower Colorado River Basin has gotten 10 million acre feet of “bonus water” since 2000, above and beyond its entitlement under the Colorado River Compact. But we’re about to have a formal shortage declaration because the Lower Basin keeps using more water than it perhaps ought to. (bad words in earlier draft deleted) ...

The post Colorado River shortage looming because Lower Basin…

2018-08-16 02:33   Click to comment

John Fleck: water in the desert

water tanks in the desert, Tuba City, Navajo Nation

The post water in the desert appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-08-05 19:22   Click to comment

John Fleck: Cutter Reservoir

CUTTER CANYON – Cutter Reservoir is an incongruous sight. The 10ish miles of dirt road it takes to reach it, up San Juan County Road 4450, is not suggestive of water. Thanks to oilfield money, the road is good as northwest New Mexico washboard dirt roads go. )We counted 21 well pads between the reservoir ...

The post Cutter Reservoir appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-08-04 22:39   Click to comment

John Fleck: “Water is Life”

Shiprock, Navajo The right, the artist(s) wrote this: How do you have a voice when you are marginalized and feel powerless? Keep making art.

The post “Water is Life” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2018-08-04 13:42   Click to comment

John Fleck: I’m fine, thanks for asking.

Two friends in recent days have kindly asked about my well-being, noting that I haven’t posted anything on the blog since July 5. I’m fine, busy focused on the book Eric Kuhn and I are writing about the history of our hydrologic understanding of the Colorado River, and the interplay between science, politics, and policy. ...

The post I’m fine, thanks for asking. appeared first on jfleck at…

2018-08-02 20:52   Click to comment

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


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