In “Science Be Dammed,” Eric Kuhn and John Fleck explain how the foundations for water allocations of the last century were premised on flawed assumptions, and that these assumptions were made disregard of the best science then available. Draw your own conclusions about the lessons applicable to the present.
In late August, shortly before reservoir levels in the Colorado River Basin fell to their lowest levels in 50 years, a call was placed on the Yampa River, a reflection of the warming weather of the Colorado River Basin.
Colorado has had giant pivots in its water affairs since Eric Kuhn arrived in 1983 to work at the Colorado River Water Conservation District. Now officially retired, Kuhn is engaged in perhaps the most important work of his career with a book that warns against ignoring climate science in managing the Colorado River.
Runoff this year in the Colorado River peaked early and with marginal volumes after yet another lackluster winter of snow in many of its headwaters. A lot of years in the 21st century have been like that. Some think something else is going on.
Aspen had a hard time making snow last fall. Temperatures were just too warm. Temperatures are clearly rising in the American Southwest, and an EPA study projects temperature rises for hundreds of ski areas across the country. Snowmaking consultant Robin Smith says if many ski areas are to survive, they will need to invest in new technology to maximize windows of cold temperature that will narrow in coming decades.
Marvin Heemeyer’s bulldozer had barely cooled after his 2004 pillaging of a Colorado mountain town before some people had proclaimed him a hero for exacting revenge on those who had done him wrong. Patrick Brower, who was there at almost every step of the way, refutes this false narrative in his book “Killdozer.”
In his new book, “Killdozer,” Patrick Brower recounts the 2004 bulldozer rampage that left 13 buildings in a Colorado mountain town badly damaged or razed, including that of the newspaper office where he worked. He talks about writing Killdozer and why some people wrongly persist in seeing the dozer operator as a hero.
Colorado’s Yampa River peaked in mid-May and the same looked to have happened in Idaho’s Wood River. But generally, peak runoff is happening now, in early June.
Nothing can be quite so delightful as the first trickle of a great river. A report from the headwaters of a Colorado River tributary on the edge of spring.