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Megadrought in the West: Is the Colorado River Really Drying Up?
By: Western River Expeditions
Rivers rise and rivers fall. We adjust our boats and rafting strategies accordingly. At present the challenges of decades of drought that have taken their toll on the Colorado River are real.
Q. Is the Colorado River Really Drying Up?
Over the last sixty-plus years in the river rafting business, we've seen low water levels, we've seen high water levels. We've seen giant dams put in place, and this year we've seen water levels drop low enough to potentially render the turbines of Glen Canyon Dam inert. But there is still a river flowing despite it all.
Q. What does the drought mean to the future of the West's water?
While the "Mega drought" of the last two decades has proven to be the driest in the last 1200 years, water has always flowed in the major rivers of the West. We will simply calibrate the size of the craft to match the volume of the river's flow.
Q. What will water flows be like in 2022 and how will the flows affect a river trip?
Despite the drought, man-made water releases from a series of reservoirs will keep 2022 water flows higher than expected. Most of the water will be released during the hottest summer months in order to try to replicate "normal" flows and natural rhythms.
As of June 1st, snowpack for the Colorado River Basin was higher than it was in 2021 and at 91% of the past seven-year average. So things are looking near normal for 2022.
Q. What can we do?
What can we do now? I say we all do the rain dance, practice conservation and teach others to think in more sustainable ways. But while the rivers are running, we strongly invite folks to come run the rivers and tell their family and friends about the experience.
For more history on why the West's water predicament is where it is today, please see our blog post https://www.westernriver.com/
CEO of Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/
Note to Media
Brian is available for interviews on this topic and anything rafting related. If interested, please contact him at: email@example.com
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