Drought and the 2002-2003 El Niño in the Southwest U.S.

G. Tootle
T. C. Piechota, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Presented at the World Water & Environmental Resources Congress 2003, June 22-26, 2003, Philadelphia, PA.


The study presented here focuses on influence of climate variability on drought in the Colorado River basin. The southwest United States is currently experiencing three years of drought causing water shortages and low lake levels. In addition, an El Nino event is occurring and could have an impact on drought conditions in the Colorado River basin. This study first assesses the current drought in the basin, and then evaluates whether anticipated hydrologic impacts from the El Nio event are sufficient to end drought conditions.