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
Date Written: August 17, 2019
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
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