An Impending Water Shortage In The West

For the first time in recorded history, the seven western states that rely on the Colorado River for water face the probability of a water shortage.

Read Time: 1 minute

October 3, 2004, 1:00 PM PDT

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


"Five years of record-breaking drought in the Colorado River basin have drained Lake Powell of more than 60% of its water. Flows on the Colorado are among the lowest in 500 years... 'They've never had to face a shortage of this consequence,' said Pat Mulroy, head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority that supplies Las Vegas, one of the most river-dependent cities in the Colorado basin... If the law of the river was strictly followed, cuts would be made according to a hierarchy of water rights, with Arizona, Nevada and the upper basin states of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah taking the first hits. California, which gets about 14% of its statewide water supply from the river, has some of the most senior rights on the Colorado and is in a comparatively good position."

Thanks to Laura Kranz

Sunday, October 3, 2004 in The Los Angeles Times

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