The Evolution of Our Understanding of the Natural Flow of the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry and its Importance to Critical Development Decisions

SCIENCE BE DAMMED WORKING PAPER SERIES No. 2019-01**

25 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2019 Last revised: 14 Nov 2019

See all articles by John Fleck

John Fleck

Water Resources Program

Eric Kuhn

Retired General Manager

Brad Udall

Colorado State University; University of Colorado

David Kanzer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 17, 2019

Abstract

The Colorado River’s naturalized flow at Lee’s Ferry is commonly used by water officials, scientists, researchers, and the media as a single, quasi-official measure of the river’s flow. While choosing a single number has become a convenient benchmark for considering “the flow of the Colorado River”, those using it should be aware of the limitations and risks. The source, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Natural Flow Data Base (NFDB) represents our best current understanding of the river’s hydrology in its natural state. But its use should be approached with an understanding of significant caveats.

Keywords: Colorado River, water

Suggested Citation

Fleck, John and Kuhn, Eric and Udall, Bradley H and Kanzer, David, The Evolution of Our Understanding of the Natural Flow of the Colorado River at Lee's Ferry and its Importance to Critical Development Decisions (August 17, 2019). SCIENCE BE DAMMED WORKING PAPER SERIES No. 2019-01**. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3429391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3429391

John Fleck (Contact Author)

Water Resources Program ( email )

1915 Roma NE/Economics Building
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Eric Kuhn

Retired General Manager ( email )

201 Centennial St.
Suite 200
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
United States

Bradley H Udall

Colorado State University ( email )

Department of Economics
Fort Collins, CO 80253-1771
United States

University of Colorado ( email )

David Kanzer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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