Researchers will be visiting the East River to participate in a $20 Million Grant Awarded to Study Warming of Colorado Rivers. The grant, from the Department of Energy was awarded to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory out of California. The project is called The Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area and is specifically geared toward studying climate change in relation to the affect it has on Colorado rivers and their ability to carry water to all necessary users. This grant will support a three year study of the East River Valley.

The goal of the $20 million grant is to learn more about the river system as a whole. Researchers hope to determine which factors may be affecting the water supply downstream. Several rivers with their headwaters in Colorado supply water for multiple western states including California. Gathering more information about how the rivers may be changing due to climate change is imperative. The lead deputy of the project, Kenneth Williams explains that one goal is to learn more about the factors influencing the river in sustaining its delivery of water to downstream users. One defined area of research will be to determine if plants are using water the same way they have in the past. Researchers aim to determine if plants – due to climate change- are growing at different times of the year and for different periods of time when compared to the past and how that plant growth is related to the water source.

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