Since 2000, a prolonged drought in the Colorado River Basin has impacted regional water supply, hydropower, recreation, and ecosystems. This application by the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation uses open data to explore the 16-year drought and its effects.
Deseret News – Utah plowed into the beginning of the year with a stellar supply of snow in the mountains, brought on by December precipitation that left most regions of the state teeming with fresh powder.
Deseret News – October ended with temperatures about 5.5 degrees above what is average over a 30-year record. “Every day we see blue skies and sunshine is another day of missed precipitation and the ability to put a lot of snow in the mountains,” said Brian McInerney.
Deseret News – After nearly a month on Greenland’s enormous ice sheet, several Utah scientists say there’s increasing evidence of a rapidly warming climate.
Utah AGRC – This storymap collection of vintage aerial photography illustrates the changing nature of the Great Salt Lake and surrounding area.
Deseret News – Water managers are worried that another dry winter will compromise water supplies that are already dwindling.
Deseret News – A wet, cool May helped delay the use of irrigation water for fields and lawns, keeping reservoir levels steady across much of Utah. The rainstorms put Utah on track to log an average year for precipitation.
UNews – Spring snowpack, relied on by ski resorts and water managers throughout the Western United States, may be more vulnerable to a warming climate in coming decades, according to a new University of Utah study.
World Bank – The impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily through the water cycle. These challenges are not insurmountable, however. This new World Bank report describes how smart policies that induce water-use efficiency, align incentives, and invest in adaptive technologies can go a long way.
New York Times – Giant dam projects promised to elevate the American West above its greatest handicap—a perennial shortage of water. But today, there are signs that the promise of Glen Canyon Dam and others has run its course. Could the end be near for one of the West’s biggest dams?
Hydroterrorism—a form of terrorism in which water is the tool or the target—is intensifying. Recent incidents in the Middle East and past incidents elsewhere illustrate that water resource systems are vulnerable to both physical and virtual attacks. This white paper introduces the problem, presents pertinent examples, and offers some direction for response.
Deseret News – A new study probing the potential impacts of a warming climate on streamflows in the West suggests that management of key storage reservoirs will be more important than ever.
USU – Water diversions since pioneer times have reduced water supply to the Great Salt Lake, decreasing its elevation by 11 feet and exposing much of the lake bed. A new white paper by USU scientists and state water managers describes the effects of water uses and climatic fluctuations on the lake’s levels.
This United Nations map shows physical and economic water scarcity worldwide.
At the turn of the water year, Randy Julander, Utah Snow Survey supervisor, comments on the state’s status. “It was a bust,” he said.