Scientists: Wind-Borne Dust Reduces Colorado Run-Off

According to scientists studying the effect of wind-borne “dust-ups,” dust from the U.S. southwest — increased by grazing and other disturbances — has reduced runoff in the Colorado River Basin as a whole by about five percent per year. It has also sped up the onset of the spring runoff by about three weeks.
“‘Runoff comes from the mountains in a more compressed period, which makes water management more difficult than if the water came more slowly out of the mountains.’
Evaporation and sublimation of the warmer snow itself–then transpiration from the earlier-exposed vegetation–results in water losses to the atmosphere, losses that then don’t go into runoff.” In Science Daily.

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