Presentations from each briefing are linked below

August 22, 2016

May 18, 2016

April 22, 2015

The Colorado River system has experienced extensive drought conditions for more than 16 years. As a result, water levels in Lake Mead, the primary storage reservoir for the Lower Basin states, and the entire Colorado River System have been rapidly declining and projections indicate that this will continue into the foreseeable future. Lake Mead water levels are important because they determine whether a shortage is declared on the Colorado River. All the states that share the river, the federal government and Mexico previously agreed to shortage “trigger levels” and resulting reduced delivery amounts in the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead. These were developed based on data that was available at that time, very early in the Colorado River drought. Now, nearly 10 years later it is apparent that those guidelines are not enough. New river flow projections indicate that Lake Mead levels could drop to the point of seriously impacting power generation and water availability, despite the Shortage Sharing Guidelines. So, the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Proposal (DC Proposal) has been drafted to protect Lake Mead in a way that improves the health of the river system and shares the burden of reductions among Arizona, California, Nevada and the United States while still honoring the previous agreements.

Resources About Shortage

More Information

Shortage Infographic


Storage Release Infographic


Structural Deficit Infographic