A week into her appointment last fall as a Mohave County supervisor in western Arizona, Lois Wakimoto heard the words that would consume her since: We have a water problem. The entity that sends Colorado River water throughout Arizona wants to buy farmland in her district that includes Mohave Valley, pay farmers to fallow it and redirect the water to the state’s most populous areas where housing developments are booming.
A top official from the Southern Nevada Water Authority is calling on states that rely on the Colorado River to resolve their differences before a growing dispute derails decades of cooperation on the river. … The fight comes as Nevada, Arizona and California continue work on a drought contingency plan aimed at keeping Lake Mead out of shortage by voluntarily leaving more water in the reservoir.
Gov. Doug Ducey recently appointed Vice Mayor Mark Clark as a commissioner to the Arizona Water Banking Authority. … AWBA was established in 1996 to increase the utility of the state’s Colorado River entitlement and to develop long-term storage credits for the state.
On April 18, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Washington v. United States, which pits the state of Washington against the United States and 21 Indian tribes. The main question in the case is narrow – whether the state must quickly replace hundreds of culverts that allow the flow of water under roads but also block salmon migration. Yet the underlying issue is far broader.
Federal water managers will be facing difficult decisions as the worsening drought is significantly affecting flows on one of the country’s longest river systems and prompting rescue missions for a tiny endangered fish. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their operating plan for the Rio Grande on Thursday.
Of all the heat records Arizona has set in recent years, here’s one you probably haven’t considered. Arizona just set a record for its warmest “cold season” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Beyond the Data blog.
Gusty winds and low humidity in drought-stricken areas will create dangerous fire conditions in parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Speheger said such conditions haven’t been seen in at least a decade.
Scientists working on new ways to battle the erosion that threatens Louisiana’s coastline have a dramatic new tool: a massive replica of the lower Mississippi River. The Louisiana State University’s Center for River Studies is home to the newly opened Lower Mississippi River Physical Model, a 10,000-square-foot (930-square-meter) reproduction of nearly 200 miles (322 kilometers) of the lower Mississippi from the town of Donaldsonville northwest of New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico.
Sin City has never been a place that thinks small. So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas – about 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean – is pondering seawater desalination to meet its long-term water demand. That doesn’t mean Vegas plans to build a pipeline to the ocean. More likely, it would help pay for a desalination facility in a place like Mexico, then trade that investment for a piece of Mexico’s water rights in the Colorado River.
In water management, it’s normal to zero in on one’s local geography and not think about the larger system – especially when state lines carve up a watershed. Thus, faced with a terrible snowpack year on the Rio Grande, we’re having three largely separate conversations about agricultural water management on the U.S. part of the Rio Grande: The San Luis Valley (the headwaters valley in Colorado) The “Middle Rio Grande” (that stretch through Albuquerque where I live) The “Lower Rio Grande” – New Mexico south of Elephant Butte Reservoir, plus El Paso County in Texas
Republican Congress members from the Pacific Northwest are upset with a federal judge’s order to spill water from four Snake River dams to help speed migrating salmon to the Pacific Ocean. They say the water could be saved for other uses and are denouncing the spill, which began April 3, and a push by environmentalists to remove the four dams to increase wild salmon runs.
[Oregon Gov. Kate] Brown on Friday announced a drought emergency in Grant County due to low snowpack, lack of precipitation, low streamflows and warming temperatures. The declaration comes after Brown announced a drought emergency in Klamath County on March 13.
On April 18, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Washington v. United States, which pits the state of Washington against the United States and 21 Indian tribes. The main question in the case is narrow – whether the state must quickly replace hundreds of culverts that allow the flow of water under roads but also block salmon migration. Yet the underlying issue is far broader.
Anthony Spaniola knew something was off with his town’s water. He read accounts in the Detroit Free Press and attended community meetings hosted by state health and environment agencies. Until last summer Spaniola was concerned but didn’t think the situation was out of control. Then he saw foam on Van Etten Lake.
A mining company accused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday of failing to operate a treatment plant at full capacity, allowing a huge volume of polluted mine wastewater to reach a southwestern Colorado river.
There is a map of Arizona that’s turning increasingly red and it has nothing to do with politics. After another below-average month of rain and snow, the latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that Arizona’s dry spell is intensifying.
The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.
Looking eastward from the canyon’s popular South Rim, visitors could soon see a hive of construction as workers build restaurants, hotels and shops on a distant mesa on the Navajo Indian reservation. … That project and a second, unrelated development proposed for just south of the canyon have set off alarms at the National Park Service, which sees them as the most serious threat the park has faced in its 95-year history.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Jeff Burrell:
Today, working as a wildlife conservation scientist in the Northern Rockies, I see grizzly bears regularly. … Every sighting is gratifying, especially since the grizzly bear has been listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act for most of my life.”