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BY LISA OWENS VIANI

A cool map for a warming watershed arrives at the right moment.

FROM THE SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

As the western United States continues to wither in an extended drought, the Colorado River’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have fallen to their lowest levels since they were first filled—Lake Mead in 1935 and Lake Powell in 1963—according to John Fleck, a professor of practice in water policy and governance in the Department of Economics and director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Against this parched backdrop, the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy has published a timely new map of the Colorado River watershed that illuminates the complicated issues facing basin managers now and in the future as water becomes an ever more scarce and precious commodity in the West.

Produced in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s newly launched Center for Geospatial Solutions, the peer-reviewed map, which includes photographs and extensive narrative, tells the story of the river’s complicated legal and political history and challenges. (more…)

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