Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018

Snow light

Colorado snowpack worst in more than 30 years

Dry conditions on top of Monarch Pass, which sits at 11,312 feet above sea level, on Jan. 4, 2018. To date, Monarch Ski Area is reporting a 26-inch base, about 1 foot below normal in past seasons. (AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post)

Denver Post

Denver Post & Colorado Public Radio

Colorado mountain snowpack shrunk to record-low levels, raising concerns about water supply, and some federal authorities calculated even big late snow — if it falls — may not make up for the lag. National Weather Service meteorologists forecast limited snow through mid-January, though they also see a possibility that ocean-driven atmospheric patterns will shift by March and bring snow. Water suppliers are also weighing how to leave as much H2O as possible stored in reservoirs without risking dam safety if high flows do come.


Utah asks feds to pause Lake Powell Pipeline

Salt Lake Tribune

After asking for fast-track review in 2017, officials in Utah now want federal regulators to delay a decision on whether the state can build its proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. In a letter released late last week, state officials have asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to hold off on any further study of the 140-mile Colorado River pipeline until federal regulators clear up an unexpected dispute over which government agencies have proper jurisdiction to approve it.


Water rights cases begin in Supreme Court

Jurist, SCOTUSblog & NPR

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two original jurisdiction cases concerning state disputes over water rights and allocation. In the first case, Texas filed the original complaint against New Mexico and Colorado over water rights to the Rio Grande River. The second case, Florida v. Georgia, concerns a dispute over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin.