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With Drought Looming, Colorado River Basin Needs Solutions

If early forecasts pan out, the Colorado River Basin could be in for yet another year of intense drought. On NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook map for mid-November to late February, the entire basin is shaded in dark brown, signaling the anticipated persistence of drought conditions through most of the winter.  That could again wreak havoc...

If early forecasts pan out, the Colorado River Basin could be in for yet another year of intense drought.

On NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook map for mid-November to late February, the entire basin is shaded in dark brown, signaling the anticipated persistence of drought conditions through most of the winter.  That could again wreak havoc on recreation, fisheries, and businesses that depend on a hearty snowpack and healthy spring and summer river flows.

Another year like last will call up the need for more new tools to mitigate drought’s ill effects on the basin’s rivers and the life within them.

In the video above, watch and see how Colorado’s Yampa River and its dependents survived the drought of 2012.  And read more about it here.

We may need equally innovative tools again this coming year.

Special thanks to Silk and Coca-Cola, Charter Sponsors for Change the Course. Additional funding generously provided by the Walton Family Foundation.

 

Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project and lead water expert for National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative.  She is the author of several acclaimed books, including the award-winning Last Oasis, a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and one of the “Scientific American 50.”

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Meet the Author

Sandra Postel
Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project and author of Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. From 2009-2015, she served as Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society. Sandra is also co-creator of Change the Course, the national water stewardship initiative awarded the 2017 US Water Prize for restoring billions of gallons of water to depleted rivers and wetlands. The recipient of several honorary degrees, she works to bridge science, policy, and practice to promote innovative ways of securing water to meet both human and ecosystem needs.