Doug Kenney
Senior Research Associate, Getches-Wilkinson Natural Resources Law Center and Director of the Western Water Policy Program, University of Colorado Boulder

Doug Kenney is Director of the Western Water Policy Program, located within the University of Colorado Law School in the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment.  He has written extensively on several water-related issues, including law and policy reform, river basin and watershed-level planning, climate change adaptation, and water resource economics.  Among his publications are In Search of Sustainable Water Management: International Lessons for the American West and Beyond (2005, Edward Elgar Publishing) andThe Water-Energy Nexus in the Western United States (2011, Edward Elgar Publishing).  He is also affiliated with the CU/NOAA Western Water Assessment (exploring the link between climate change/variability and western US water management).  Dr. Kenney has served as a consultant to a variety of local, state, multi-state, and federal agencies, and has made presentations in 20 states (and the District of Columbia), 7 nations, and 4 continents.  He has a B.A. in biology from the University of Colorado, a M.S. in Natural Resources Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Renewable Natural Resource Studies from the University of Arizona.

Abstract: The Colorado River Water Scarcity Crisis Explained

The Colorado River is one of the most highly developed water resources in the world.  In good times, the two largest reservoirs on the system (and in the United States)—Lake Mead and Lake Powell—hold over three full years of average river flow, which is used by roughly 40 million residents in the Southwest and northwestern Mexico.  However, the reservoirs today are at historically low levels, and curtailments in water deliveries are coming soon.  How did we get into this situation?