Following The Colorado River Story: A Primer On Water Terminology

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A guide to terminology about water in the Southwest

The crisis on the Colorado River System is capturing the attention of the world. News accounts filled with mouth-drying terms such as “dead pool” and “system crash” have reached readers in Berlin, Mumbai, Tokyo and elsewhere. The image of a speedboat sitting upright in what used to be Lake Mead with its stern buried in the mud has illustrated literally hundreds of news accounts. And, then, there are the countless reports of the discovery of human remains revealed in the receding waters of Lake Mead. The eyes of the world literally are upon Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

We've stabilized the Colorado River - For Now. But Much Tougher Work Lies Ahead

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We've stabilized the Colorado River - for now. But much tougher work lies ahead

By Tom Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Ted Cooke, General Manager of the Central Arizona Project 

When U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman hailed the Drought Contingency Plans signed last year as “historic,” we wholeheartedly agreed. The plans were the product of years of discussion, negotiation and compromises among water users throughout the Colorado River Basin.