Climate Models Show Changes For Rio Grande Basin

Dec 11, 2013

Temperatures are likely to get hotter by a few degrees before the end of the 21st century and less water will be available in the Upper Rio Grande Basin thanks to a changing climate. 

Those are just some of the findings in a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Reclamation.

The agency reviewed temperature and precipitation data from the last decade and compared models in an effort to start answering whether water planners should be ready for the possibility of a hotter, drier and more variable future.

The study looks specifically at the headwaters of the Rio Grande in southern Colorado and the river's reach into south-central New Mexico.

Despite many uncertainties, hydrologists say a growing imbalance between supply and demand throughout the basin will likely lead to a greater reliance on non-renewable groundwater resources.

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