DOI report warns of low flows in three major river basins

Climate change in the next few decades would lead to significant decreases in water flows in river basins that tribes depend on, according to a new Interior Department report.

Assuming an increase in temperatures, flows in the Colorado, Rio Grande and San Joaquin basins could drop between 8 percent to 14 percent, the report said. That would impact tribes in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California.

"Water is the lifeblood of our communities, rural and urban economies, and our environment, and small changes in water supplies or the timing of precipitation can have a big impact on all of us," Secretary Ken Salazar said in a press release. "This report provides the foundation for understanding the long-term impacts of climate change on Western water supplies and will help us identify and implement appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies for sustainable water resource management.”

The report was required by the SECURE Water Act of 2009.

Get the Story:
Report says climate change to slow Western rivers, hamper water supplies (AP 4/25)
Green Blog: A 21st-Century Water Forecast (The New York Times 4/25)

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