Lingering Colorado River Drought Could Lead to Water Shortages by By John Fialka, E&E News

September 6, 2018

The Colorado River system’s ongoing 19-year drought could trigger unprecedented water rationing among its southern states by mid-2020, a new study warns.

The river, which supplies 40 million people, is going through the longest dry spell in recorded history and one of the driest in the past 1,200 years, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Over this summer, Reclamation said the chance of a water shortage in the river’s lower basin rose from 52 percent to 57 percent by 2020, based on computer model projections that look ahead five years. The shortages could affect Arizona, California and five other southern states.