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Latest Western Water Article Examines Simmering Questions For Lake Powell As Drought, Climate Change Point To A Drier Colorado River
Powell faces demands from stakeholders in Upper and Lower Basins with different water needs as runoff is forecast to decline

Sprawled across a desert expanse along the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell’s 100-foot high bathtub ring etched on its sandstone walls belie the challenges of a major Colorado River reservoir at less than half-full. 

Recent studies point to warmer and drier conditions ahead, with reduced runoff into the Colorado River. Meanwhile, the Upper Basin is looking to use more of its share of the river’s waters. On the horizon is a rewrite of the operating guidelines for the river, and already there is talk about how changes to those guidelines could affect Lake Powell, a key reservoir in the Colorado River system.

The latest article in Western Water explores the different concerns being raised around the Colorado River Basin and how the river’s challenges could play out in Powell’s future.

Announcement

Tap Into Special News Feed for Water-Related Articles Involving COVID-19
News feed part of daily Aquafornia aggregation that keeps you updated on water issues in California and the West

Our daily news aggregation known as Aquafornia keeps you up-to-date on the most pressing water issues in California and across the West.

Now, it features a special COVID-19 news feed where you can find articles related to coronavirus and water, such as efforts to get federal funding to help struggling ratepayers, tracking the virus through wastewater and addressing water systems as people head back to work.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Small, Central Valley community finally gets clean water

For years — too many, residents say — Seville households teetered with unpredictable conditions. Using too much water in the day meant having none at night. One flush too many, and everyone relying on a single well in town was thrown into a dry spell. … The coming summer, however, promises to be a new one altogether for residents in Seville.

Aquafornia news TechRepublic

US home water use up 21% daily during COVID-19 crisis

The average US home used nearly 729 additional gallons of water in April than it did in February, according to a new study from water-monitoring company Phyn. This means usage was up 21% daily, as most Americans followed orders to work and shelter from home, in an effort to “flatten the curve” and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Trump uses ‘emergency’ to speed up infrastructure projects

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday calling on federal agencies to use emergency powers to “accelerate” infrastructure projects on federal lands as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order urges the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense departments to use emergency powers under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act to speed projects through the approval process.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news WaterWorld

Leading water associations urge EPA to expedite regulation of PFAS

The National Ground Water Association and eight of the country’s leading drinking water organizations are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to move expeditiously as it evaluates drinking water standards for two per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

Related article:

Online Water Encyclopedia

Restored wetlands in Northern California
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Wetlands

Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, sequester carbon, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
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Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 237 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

Drought
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Drought

Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom and-bust patterns.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.

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Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.

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