U.S. Geological Survey shows Colorado River flows decreased 7% by temperature changes.- Rising temperatures sucking water out of the Colorado River by Emily Guerin, KPCC, October 31, 2017

November 1, 2017

Rising temperatures are undermining the source of one third of Southern California’s drinking water: the Colorado River.

A new study by the US Geological Survey finds the river’s flow has shrunk by about seven percent over the past 30 years. As air temperature rises due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, more water is sucked into the atmosphere from the snowpack and the river itself instead of flowing downstream. The amount that has evaporated is equal to approximately 24 percent of the total amount of California’s annual Colorado River allocation.