August 10, 2023

The Colorado River Water Crisis

This USU Research Landscapes, held on August 10, 2023, in Salt Lake City, featured a discussion about the future of the Colorado River with Dr. Jack Schmidt. The presentation event brought together state and community leadership, local agencies, citizens, and other stakeholders to discuss the river.

Schmidt, the chair of the Center for Colorado River Studies in the Quinney College of Natural Resources, has more than four decades of experience studying the Colorado River basin and other watersheds in the American West.

During the presentation, Schmidt expanded on the information laid out in a new publication he recently released with his research colleagues. Titled “The Colorado River water crisis: Its origin and the future,” the publication explores the water-use deficit in the West. In the past 20 years, that deficit has drained Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the two largest reservoirs in the basin, and left 40 million Americans with uncertain water access.

Research Landscapes is an event series hosted by the Utah State University Office of Research and sponsored by O.C. Tanner. The series connects decision-makers across the Wasatch Front with the researchers exploring Utah’s land, water, and air.

Jack Schmidt standing by a podium

Jack Schmidt presenting

Jack Schmidt presenting with slides

Audience members at presentation