The words blasted to cellphones around Salem, Oregon were ominous: “Civil emergency. prepare for action.” Within half an hour, a second official alert clarified the subject wasn’t impending violence, but toxins from an algae bloom, detected in the city’s water supply.
Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million.
State records obtained by the Tribune show the president’s glass-and-steel skyscraper is one of the largest users of Chicago River water for its cooling systems, siphoning nearly 20 million gallons a day through intakes so powerful the machines could fill an Olympic swimming pool in less than an hour, then pumping the water back into the river up to 35 degrees hotter.
With rainfall at record lows, water is an increasingly precious commodity in the deserts of southern Utah. But in the driest reaches of redrock country, one long-waged water war thunders even louder than the rest. Utah legislators and water managers have spent nearly a decade trying to break ground on the 140-mile-long Lake Powell Pipeline, which will carry 77 million gallons of water annually from the Colorado River to nearby Washington and Kane Counties.
Hard-hat workers are toiling deep underground, 55 stories beneath the Hudson River, to eliminate gushing leaks in an aging tunnel that carries half the city’s water supply over 85 miles from Catskill Mountain reservoirs. Using a cylindrical, space-rocket-size borer, they are carving through solid rock to create a 2.5-mile bypass tunnel around the worst of the leaks.
Work continues after a massive storm that stalled over the North Shore dropped 28 inches of rain in 24 hours from April 14 to 15. The only road through the area, the westernmost stretch of Kuhio Highway, was severely damaged by flooding and mudslides.
State Engineer Tom Blaine and his predecessor as New Mexico’s chief water administrator, Tom Turney, are among those challenging state Court of Appeals approval of a deal awarding San Juan River water rights to the Navajo Nation, one of the largest such settlements in state history.
While most people head to Kauai for sun and sand, hikers who head into the interior of the island will find themselves in one of the wettest places on Earth. Mount Waialeale in the island’s interior receives an average of 450 inches of rain each year, which accounts for its lush vegetation and plentiful waterfalls.
Amy Haas, deputy director and general counsel of the Upper Colorado River Commission, will replace the retiring Don Ostler as the UCRC’s executive director July 1. Amy, formerly general counsel of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, has been with the commission since last year, and has a long history of working within the interstate Colorado River governance process, including playing a central role in the negotiation of the recently signed U.S.-Mexico agreement known as Minute 323.
Recycled wastewater is gaining wider acceptance to boost drinking water supplies across the arid West. Now a project in Tucson could mark another milestone: The city wants to use recycled effluent largely for ornamental purposes. Tucson proposes to use a portion of the metro area’s treated urban wastewater to make the Santa Cruz River flow through downtown again for the first time in 70 years.
Having detected toxins in its water distribution system since Memorial Day weekend at levels that occasionally exceeded state and federal health guidelines, officials in Salem are warning children, the elderly, and those with liver and kidney disease not to drink the tap water. A bloom of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae for its colorful, scum-like appearance, formed in Detroit Reservoir, the manmade lake on the Santiam River that is the Oregon capital’s drinking water source.
A massive 2010 settlement that awarded San Juan River water rights to the Navajo Nation is facing fresh legal challenges that raise issues concerning who has the authority to make water deals in New Mexico.
A coalition of environmental and fishing groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the state of Oregon, alleging logging in the state’s two largest forests is threatening the survival of coho salmon that breed in streams flowing through the coastal region.
An old water cliché tells us that “water flows uphill toward money.” It’s an adage born out of people’s frustrations about who benefits when water moves around in the Western U.S., popularized by author Marc Reisner’s 1986 book, “Cadillac Desert.”
Leaders of the Blackfeet Nation and U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday put into effect a $471 million settlement of water rights claims that was decades in the making for the northwestern Montana American Indian tribe.
Anthem follows the model of the low-density, family-friendly suburbs that have sprouted around Phoenix since the 1950s to accommodate the region’s surging population. But further rapid expansion could prove challenging at a time when water supplies are dwindling, as warming temperatures increasingly affect the western United States, scientists warn.
Washington state must restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a lower court order. The justices divided 4-4 in the long-running dispute that pits the state against Northwest Indian tribes and the federal government. The tie serves to affirm a lower court ruling.
After nearly two decades of documented administrative, financial, and infrastructure failures at the Martin County Water District, the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office announced on June 4 that it will investigate the troubled water system that has become a symbol of botched management and the perilous condition of Appalachian drinking water.