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Mon July 27, 2009
Climate change depleting Flaming Gorge and other reservoirs
By Addie Goss
Laramie, Wy – A new University of Colorado study predicts that climate change increases the chances that reservoirs along the Colorado River could be depleted by the year 20-57. That includes the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming. The Colorado River Basin stretches from Wyoming to the Gulf of California. It supplies drinking and irrigation water for about 27 million people. Wyoming's state climatologist... Steve Gray... says a growing number of studies predict lower water levels on the Colorado due to global warming.
"The models are very consistent in telling us that if we have increasing temperatures in the future, and that seems to be very likely, then we will have less water in the Colorado River system, it's just a question of how much less and how large those impacts are going to be."
The University of Colorado study finds that if average stream flow on the Colorado River goes down 10 percent, there's a 25 percent chance that the river's reservoirs will be depleted by 20-57.