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LR Testimony
April 6, 2017

Native Waters Rising and Living Rivers and others Tesify in Nevada Legislature

AJR4 - Summary of Nevada Joint Resolution by Assemblywoman Swank and Senator Segerblom

Requests the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct an independent scientific and economic analysis of the current management practices of the Colorado River, the impact of these practices on water security, flood protection and biodiversity recovery, and alternative management options, including draining Lake Powell and decommissioning and destroying the Glen Canyon Dam. (BDR R-101) AJR4 Long Version

Read Senator's OpEd in the Las Vegas Review Journal HERE

Presentation: Living Rivers
Testimony: Native Waters Rising
Testimony: Dr. Daniel Beard

Others to testify include:

Dr. Victor Baker - Professor of Hydrology
Howard Watts - PLAN Nevada
Bob Fulkerson - PLAN Nevada
Eric Balken - Glen Canyon Institute
John Weisheit - Colorado Riverkeeper


1) "LIGHT ON THE MEXICAN TREATY" (of 1944). This is US Senate Document #249 from 1946. The important page # is 20.

It was originally presented to the Colorado River Water Users’ Association in Salt Lake City, Utah by Northcutt Ely.

Northcutt Ely was, during the Hoover administration, the Deputy Secretary of Interior. On page 20 is an updated water budget of the Colorado River, which indicates there would be, in the future, a system-wide deficit of -1.8 million acre-feet.

This is the first document that clarifies that the demand for Colorado River water exceeds the supply. Northcutt Ely recommends to the assembled water governance of the seven states the following, “No sound planning can be done for new projects until the water budget is balanced again in some way.”

In other words, 71 years ago the water managers understood that water shortages would occur in the future. This officially happened to the Colorado River basin in 2003 and the deficit today is -1.9 million acre-feet. It also means the plans for infrastructure in 1946 were overestimated and also needed to be revised (not to build redundant dams, for example). Unfortunately the seven states never did adjust their water allocations nor their planning documents to reflect the reality of nature.

2) "Congressional Testimony of Colorado River Board of California on July 3, 1954 (Northcutt Ely).

The state of California asks Congress to treat the upper and lower basins equally, which is the main purpose of the 1922 Compact. The CRSP legislation favors dam construction solely for repaying the construction loans with hydropower revenues. For example, total consumptive use for all CRSP irrigation projects is only 400,000 acre-feet, but reservoir evaporation from all the huge reservoirs is 700,000 acre-feet. Thus, overall, the CRSP projects will waste more water than the lower basin projects, even though lower basin evaporation rates are higher than the upper basin.

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Last Update: October 30, 2007

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