Southwest and South Central CASC Investigators Publish Editorial on Managing Colorado River Risk

June 4, 2021

Southwest CASC investigator Brad Udall (Colorado State University) and South Central CASC investigator John Fleck (University of New Mexico) recently published an editorial in Science about “Managing Colorado River Risk.” The Colorado River system delivers water to 40 million people in the United States and Mexico, and irrigates millions of acres of agricultural lands. However, as temperatures warm due to climate change, water flow is down by 20% and the two largest reservoirs along the river are projected to be at 29% capacity by 2023. This leaves a complicated situation for decision-makers and politicians as water allocation agreements are renegotiated over the next 4 years. In this editorial, Udall and Fleck lay out this enormous challenge, outline what the latest science is saying, and urge decision-makers to “follow the science” as they negotiate over this precious resource.