It projects that by 2060, river supplies will fall short of demand by about 3.2 million acre-feet — more than five times the amount of water annually consumed by Los Angeles.
“This study should serve as a call to action,” U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday as he released a report that predicted a drier future for the seven states that depend on the Colorado for irrigation and drinking supplies. “We can plan for this together.”
The analysis lists a range of proposed solutions, including some that Interior officials immediately dismissed as politically or technically infeasible. Among them: building a pipeline to import water from the Missouri or Mississippi rivers and towing icebergs to Southern California.
But Salazar said a host of practical steps could be pursued, including desalination of seawater and brackish water, recycling and conservation by both the agricultural and urban sectors.