background image

Colorado River has lost 10tn gallons of water since 2000 due to climate crisis

author image

By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in The Guardian or enjoy below 

🗞️ Driving the news: According to a recent study, the climate crisis has resulted in the Colorado River basin, a system supporting 40 million people in the western US, losing more than 10 trillion gallons of water in the past two decades
• This volume is equivalent to the entire storage capacity of Lake Mead, the US's largest reservoir

🔭 The context: The Colorado River, critical for providing water supplies across the US west, sustaining ecosystems, and irrigating farmland, has experienced significant depletion since 2000 due to a climate change-exacerbated "megadrought"
• The situation has prompted the first-ever federally declared water shortage, leading to an urgent agreement in May to reduce water use among states

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: This dramatic water loss in the Colorado River basin is a stark indicator of the ongoing impact of climate change
• The basin is a crucial water resource for cities, agriculture, and wildlife and is currently facing the region's worst drought in over 1,200 years

⏭️ What's next: While recent rainfalls and snowfalls have provided temporary relief, the long-term prognosis requires structural changes to sustain the river, which has always been over-allocated and now faces a shrinking supply due to the climate crisis

💬 One quote: "The fact that warming removed as much water from the basin as the size of Lake Mead itself during the recent megadrought is a wakeup call to the climate change impacts we are living today" (Benjamin Bass, lead author of the study and a hydrological modeler at UCLA)

📈 One stat: The research found that the average temperature in the basin has increased by 1.5°C (2.7°F) since 1880, leading to a 10.3% reduction in water runoff. This has resulted in a loss of 10 trillion gallons (or about 40 trillion liters) of water from the Colorado River system since 2000

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - providing you with concise summaries of the most important sustainability news of the day.

Follow us on Linkedin, Twitter​ & Instagram

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)