Climate change threatens the Colorado River's water supply

Oct 7, 2021

A Grand Canyon boat ride on the Colorado River.
Credit Westwind Air Service / Unsplash

The U.S. senate’s energy subcommittee on water and power held a hearing in Washington DC Wednesday. They heard from water experts from several western states about ongoing drought conditions. 

Jennifer Pitt is with the environmental nonprofit Audubon Society. She said climate change has come “barging through the front door” of the Colorado river basin. 

“We need to act quickly to avoid a catastrophic water supply crisis, and we also need long-term solutions because as temperatures continue to increase, the Colorado River’s water supply will keep shrinking.”

Flows are down 20% in the last two decades, and scientists forecast they will drop 9% more with every degree of warming. 

The director of Arizona’s water department said the path forward relies on good data and collaboration . . . that will likely include voluntary conservation measures.