At Colorado River conference, BuRec chief talks shortages

Posted: Jun 15, 2011

Written by

CATHERINE TSAI, The Associated Press
Colorado River

Deep spring snowpack in parts of the West has given states in the Colorado River basin some relief from drought, but water officials said last week there's still work to do to keep faucets running in the future.

Before this year, there was a "serious possibility" that a water shortage would be declared next year for California, Arizona and Nevada, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor said. That has been deferred until at least 2015, he said.

Nevertheless Lake Mead and Lake Powell, which together can store up to 50 million acre-feet of water, are still not full, and there's no guarantee reservoirs will be full by the next drought.

"There is a precarious balance between supply and demand, and it's getting worse," Connor said at a conference at the University of Colorado Law School.

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