For the six states of the U.S. Southwest (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah)i , January 2020 through August 2021 have been exceptional in the instrumental climate record since 1895, with the lowest total precipitation and the third-highest daily average temperatures recorded, which together imposed an unyielding, unprecedented, and costly drought. This exceptional drought punctuates a two-decade period of persistently warm and dry conditions throughout the region.
Safe and secure water supplies are a continuing fundamental pursuit for life in the West. This 2021 Report provides an assessment of climate change impacts to water uses in the West and adds a new set of West-wide information based in paleohydrology. This report describes our collaborative actions taken to increase the reliability of water and power deliveries since 2016, including: science and research, planning, infrastructure sustainability, efficient hydropower production, and on-the-ground actions to meet needs for irrigation, municipalities, power, Tribes, and the environment.
As the climate changes, critical challenges face water managers, farmers, public agencies, and conservationists in the Colorado River Basin. This report by Carpe Diem West, in partnership with the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana, documents the concerns of some Colorado River thought leaders and their ideas about potential solutions and paths ahead.
A contribution to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, this report is a summary and synthesis of the past, present, and projected future of the Southwest region’s climate. It emphasizes new information and understandings since publication of the previous national assessment in 2009.