By Keli James, PR communications coordinatorColorado River Basin’s drastic water decline

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) unveiled an interactive website showing the Colorado River Basin’s drastic water decline. The tool also known as Drought in the Colorado River Basin – Insights Using Open Data displays the reservoir levels reduced drastically—nearly 50 percent.

Prompted by the Obama Administration to reduce drought vulnerabilities, this web tool provides a visual illustration of the complex connection between water supply, water demand and long-term drought in the Colorado River Basin.

“Innovation is absolutely critical to helping us deal with the severe threats to water supply posed by drought and climate change,” said Interior Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor during the White House Roundtable on Water Innovation in December. “Projects like this one show the power of open data to help us better understand our resource challenges. By enabling us to see the complex challenges in the Colorado River Basin visually, use of this website will help us devise timely actions to build resilience to the drought, spurring innovation along the way.”

The tool is an activity of the Open Water Data Initiative (OWDI); a federal project led by DOI’s United States Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and with contributions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon State University, and the Western States Water Council. OWDI intends to bring together the information collected by different agencies into a more cohesive whole to analyze and develop long-term solutions to a dwindling water supply.

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