Hydrologic Conditions

Hydrologic conditions are key drivers of the challenges facing the water industry.  Precipitation, rainfall and runoff foretell whether water supplies are plentiful or sparse.  The status of water storage in reservoirs signals whether supplies will be sufficient to meet water demands or water shortages are on the horizon.

JOW tracks and analyzes conditions from key water sources in three major areas:

  • Colorado River Basin: We provide an analysis of current forecasts from the Bureau of Reclamation 24-Month studies, which informs operations and provides early warning of a shortage in the Lower Basin.
  • Texas: We present information about the well elevation levels in the Edwards Aquifer’s J-17 and J-27 monitoring wells and compare them to various historical levels and Critical Management Period triggers.
  • Elsewhere in the Southwest: We discuss current and historical storage levels in Lake Oroville.  Lake Oroville is the primary storage reservoir for the State Water Project (SWP), which supplies water to 25 million California residents and 750,000 acres of farmland.

Colorado River Basin

  • Hydrologic Conditions: Colorado River Basin, June 2016

    Current Conditions Lake Mead: Lake Mead’s current elevation is now 2.98 feet below the elevation of Lake Mead in June 2015 and 96.12 feet below the historical June elevation of Lake Mead.   Lake Powell: Lake Powell’s current elevation is now 3.97 feet above the elevation of Lake Powell in June 2015 and 15.51 feet below the historical June elevation of Lake Powell.     24-Month Study Lake Mead: The June 2016 24-Month Study projects that Lake Mead’s…


  • Hydrologic Conditions: Texas, June 2016

    San Antonio Pool The J-17 Well elevation continues to increase and has climbed well above the historic average (see chart).   The pool was in a critical management period most of 2015. Heavy rain and flooding in the spring of 2015 provided a two-month respite from all pumping restrictions. But Stage 1 restrictions were imposed at the end of June. In mid-August 2015, EAA announced a return to Stage 2 restrictions, which require all permit holders in the pool to reduce their annual…

Elsewhere in the Southwest

  • Hydrologic Conditions: Elsewhere in the Southwest, June 2016

    Lake Oroville The storage level in Lake Oroville, the primary storage reservoir for California State Water Project, continues to increase. On June 1st, the reservoir held 3,301,763 AF—which is 93% of the total capacity or 111% of the historical average for the date. As of May 1st it had increased to 3,403,047 AF—which is 93% of the total capacity or 118% of the historical average for the date. The storage level is just below the 1982-83 wet period (see chart). After a nearly dry…