New Water Worries Ripple Through West
Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 Updated at 5:14 AM PST
A study says the West's warming climate will increase the odds that the Colorado River won't be able to deliver all the water that's been promised to millions who rely on it for their homes, farms and businesses.
Climate researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego studied the effects of climate change on the 1,400-mile river system that provides water for about 27 million people.
They found that -- under predicted climate-change scenarios -- by 2050 the river won't be able to provide all of its allocated water 60 percent to 90 percent of the time.
The same scientists made waves last year with a study saying there's a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead, the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, could run dry by 2021.