Water supply risk on the Colorado River: Can management mitigate?
Article first published online: 21 AUG 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 45, Issue 8, August 2009
How to Cite
2009), Water supply risk on the Colorado River: Can management mitigate? Water Resour. Res., 45, W08201, doi:10.1029/2008WR007652., , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 21 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 21 AUG 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUL 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 3 JUN 2009
- Manuscript Received: 14 DEC 2008
- climate change;
- water supply
 Population growth and a changing climate will tax the future reliability of the Colorado River water supply. Using a heuristic model, we assess the annual risk to the Colorado River water supply for 2008–2057. Projected demand growth superimposed upon historical climate variability results in only a small probability of annual reservoir depletion through 2057. In contrast, a scenario of 20% reduction in the annual Colorado River flow due to climate change by 2057 results in a near tenfold increase in the probability of annual reservoir depletion by 2057. However, our analysis suggests that flexibility in current management practices could mitigate some of the increased risk due to climate change–induced reductions in flows.