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, July 2015

    Current Conditions: Lake Mead’s current elevation is now 4.03 feet below the elevation of Lake Mead in July 2014 and 91.92 feet below the historical July elevation of Lake Mead. Lake Powell’s current elevation is now 4.99 feet ABOVE the elevation of Lake Powell in July 2014 but is still 28.27 feet below the historical July elevation of Lake Powell.   24-Month Study: Lake Mead Reclamation’s forecast in its July 2015 24-Month Study shows unchanged projected…


  • Hydrologic Conditions: Texas, July 2015

    Edwards Aquifer San Antonio Pool Rain in south Texas continues to benefit the Edwards Aquifer.  The J-17 Well elevation continues to increase above the Stage 1 trigger and the historic average elevation.  The Edwards Aquifer Authority announced that all pumping restrictions for the San Antonio Pool were lifted effective May 30, 2015. With the historical trend suggesting a decline in well elevation, will continuing rain events build water levels enough to avoid a return to pumping…

Elsewhere in the Southwest

  • Hydrologic Conditions: Elsewhere in the Southwest, July 2015

    California Lake Oroville Lake Oroville, the primary storage reservoir for the California State Water Project, continues its downward trend ending June with 39% of its total capacity or 48% of average for that date.  The water year began with historic low levels of storage in Lake Oroville, and DWR moved 450,000 AF to San Luis Reservoir between late December and mid-January for operational purposes.  As DWR tries to rebuild storage levels in Lake Oroville, water levels remain above…