The Emerging Megadrought: A Tale of Two River Basins

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0

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Days & Times

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT

Course Location

Online

Course Fees

Tuition

$0

Online

August 13, 2020

This webinar will explore the impact of climate change on two major river basins – The Colorado and the Missouri.

State and federal judges increasingly preside over cases in which stakeholders assert competing demands for water—whether for consumptive uses, hydropower or the environment. While demand for water continues to increase, supplies are diminishing in many parts of the American West and Midwest. Drought is a pervasive reason for this decline, and it benefits judges to know more about this megatrend.  

Tuition

Course $0

What will I learn?

During this course, you will learn to:

  • Identify the impact of climate change on the water basins of the Colorado and Missouri Rivers
  • Discuss the legal issues that may arise as a result of climate change as water users battle over the Colorado and Missouri Rivers

An article in the April issue of Science generated significant publicity in the national news media. The article, “Large Contribution from Anthropogenic Warming to an Emerging North American Megadrought,” concluded that the 2000-18 drought in the Southwest was the second-driest period since 800 A.D. Even more disturbing, the article also found that global warming had transformed what otherwise would have been a moderate drought into a megadrought.

Another article followed in May, this time in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Titled “Increased Drought Severity Tracks Warming in the United States’ Longest River Basin,” the article echoed the April study, reporting that the turn-of-the-century (2000-10) drought in the Missouri River basin “was potentially unprecedented over the last millennium.”

Dividing the Waters is pleased to present a webinar exploring the scientific methods and findings behind these reports of “megadrought” in the Colorado and Missouri River Basins, and some of the policy and legal implications of these trends.

The faculty for this 90-minute session will include: Benjamin I. Cook, climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and one of the authors of the Science article; Connie Woodhouse, Regents’ Professor in the University of Arizona’s School of Geography, Development and Environment and co-author of the PNAS article; Bradley Udall, senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University who has taught and published extensively on water issues in the Colorado River Basin; and moderator John Thorson, federal water master and Dividing the Waters co-convener.

Register Now.

State and federal judges increasingly preside over cases in which stakeholders assert competing demands for water—whether for consumptive uses, hydropower or the environment. While demand for water continues to increase, supplies are diminishing in many parts of the American West and Midwest. Drought is a pervasive reason for this decline, and it benefits judges to know more about this megatrend.  

Register
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