Colorado River in grips of drought

As a regional drought tightens its grip on the Colorado River, water agency officials, environmentalists, farmers and Indian tribal leaders from the seven states that depend on the river for survival are expected to gather Tuesday for a “moving forward” meeting called by federal officials.

Last year was dry, this year is even worse, officials said.

If the trend continues, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the Colorado River’s two giant reservoirs, will be at 45% capacity by year’s end, their lowest since 1968.

“Hydrologically, we’re not going in the right direction,” Michael Connor, commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, said in advance of Tuesday’s meeting in San Diego.