The Rio Grande is a classic “feast or famine” river, with a dry year or two typically followed by a couple of wet years that allow for recovery. … A study last year of the Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people and is far bigger than the Rio Grande, found that flows from 2000 to 2014 were nearly 20 percent below the 20th century average, with about a third of the reduction attributable to human-caused warming.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Defense Fund detailed how nine groundwater basins in six states west of the Mississippi River have confronted the need to rebalance depleted aquifers and establish successful future management. In a Western Water spotlight story, Gary Pitzer writes about strategies used in one of those basins noted in the EDF report: the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), which spreads 5,646 square miles across large urban centers and farmland in Arizona.
Most of California was on track for one of its driest winters on record as recently as February as a result of persistent (one might even call it resilient) high pressure ridging along the West Coast during the first half of winter. Recall that December 2017 featured the largest wildfire in modern California history, following on the heels of the most destructive and deadly wildfire event in the state’s history just months earlier in October.
Five of the world’s largest oil producers urged a federal judge Thursday to dismiss lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland that seek to hold the companies liable for climate change, arguing that the issue is one for Congress, not the courts.
For Shasta Marina, where about nine out of every 10 customers come from out of the area, 2018 business could be better than last summer, when high water levels were a welcome change from the drought that made it tough on lake businesses, owner John Harkrader said.
After a pamphlet proposing water rate increases in Folsom sparked backlash from residents and City Council members, the city is slowing its process and plans to seek additional input from the public, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones is facing the wrath of the farming community after saying on social media that agriculture is damaging to the environment and public health. A screen shot of his comments was shared Friday on the Facebook page My Job Depends on Ag.
A “floating village” project is being eyed in north San Jose’s Alviso hamlet by tech company Arx Pax, using a technology that would deploy a group of pontoons beneath the buildings to protect the development from floods and earthquakes.
Abalone hunters and other recreational divers forced to stand by idly for years as tiny purple urchins overran the ocean floor off the North Coast are scheduled to converge en masse over Memorial Day weekend to try their hand at resetting nature.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the fruits of three grasses provide the world with 60 percent of its total food: corn, wheat and rice. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins. But rice as we know it is at risk.
The Sierra Club and others contend in papers filed Wednesday in federal court that without a new permit, the communities surrounding the Four Corners Power Plant in northwestern New Mexico remain exposed to heavy metals and other pollutants that are released into drainages that eventually lead to the San Juan River.
Officials say they’re losing the battle against a devastating combination of invasive plant species and wildfires in the vast sagebrush habitats in the U.S. West that support cattle ranching and recreation and are home to an imperiled bird.
Every year, the National Park Foundation asks travelers to share photos that capture their experiences in national parks and public lands during a yearlong contest. And every year these winning images inspire us to jump in the car and go.
Scientists studying plant life around the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs have made a surprising discovery: Out of all the birds living at the time, only the ground-dwelling species survived.
When my [Leo Heller] predecessor, Catarina de Albuquerque, visited California, what she found shocked her. Drinking water conditions were akin to those typically seen in a developing country: families without an acceptable level of safe drinking water or sanitation; exposed pipes running through irrigation ditches; crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure.
Responding to the tragic losses of homes and lives in wildland fires in California over the past year, Gov. Jerry Brown announced a “major offensive” against fire, in the form of a “Forest Carbon Plan.” The governor proposes to use $254 million of taxpayer money to double logging levels in California’s forests — to “at least” 500,000 acres a year — and to achieve it, he wants to reduce environmental protections.
Wet conditions that exacerbate the slipperiness of the smooth granite, polished thousands of years ago by glaciers and today by the shoe soles worn by thousands of hikers ascending and descending the cables each year, are a factor in many of Half Dome’s accidents and fatalities.