USBR Forecasts Improved Colorado River Conditions for 2019

Mar 19, 2019

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its projections for water supply in the Colorado River Basin, which received a boost from recent snowstorms. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Colorado River
Credit U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The agency forecasts water inflow into Lake Powell will be 92 percent of average for the 2019 water year. That may lessen the chance of a shortage declaration in the year 2020. But the agency cautions the drought is ongoing and the Colorado River Basin still faces significant risks.

The updated projection come at a time when Arizona and California are finalizing their ‘drought contingency plans,’ intended to reduce the risk of catastrophic shortage. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has started its own planning process, threatening to step in if the states don’t finish in time. The agency asked the governors of the seven basin states to submit their suggestions on how to manage the Colorado River. That deadline is today.