Study calculates warming threat to Colorado River
BOULDER, Colorado – University of Colorado researchers say global warming increases the chances that the Colorado River system’s reservoirs could be depleted by mid-century.
A study released this week says that if global warming cuts the river’s average flow by 10 percent, the chances of draining the river’s reservoirs by 2057 is 25 percent.
The researchers say a 20 percent drop in stream flow translates to a 50 percent chance of draining the reservoirs by that date.
The Colorado River travels nearly 1,500 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, feeding more than a dozen reservoirs and supplying drinking and irrigation water for about 30 million people.