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"Barring a miracle from nature, it will likely get worse before it gets better. This should be a wake-up call for all of us, because it will take all of us to solve it." — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Read more»

Water levels at Lake Powell have dropped so low that natural wonders are starting to reappear, including Gregory Natural Bridge, which hasn’t been seen since the Colorado River reservoir was filled in the 1960s.

NASA satellite photos show how drastically the water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead have receded in just the past few years - demonstrating the severity of long-term drought and the challenges Arizona will face to conserve and enhance its precious water supply. Read more»

Soybeans show the affect of a 2013 drought in Texas, near Navasota, in this USDA file photo. A new report says Arizona and the Southwest are locked in a 22-year megadrought that is as dry as any in the last 1,200 years, according tree-ring data.

The megadrought that’s gripped Arizona and the Southwest since 2000 is the driest in more than 1,200 years, and it is likely to continue for the near future, and historic low water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell have triggered the state’s drought contingency plan. Read more»

'Climate change has come barging through the front doors of the Colorado basin,' said Jennifer Pitt, the Colorado River Program Director at the National Audubon Society.

Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. Read more»

Lake Powell at the Glen Canyon Dam wall on Aug. 18, 2021, as the lake was at historic lows.

New projections from a Bureau of Reclamation report released Thursday show that Lake Mead and Lake Powell could reach “critically low reservoir elevations” sooner than expected, spurring experts to say that “bold actions” will be needed to change course. Read more»

Next year, water levels on Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River, are projected to drop to their lowest levels yet, triggering the first-ever official shortage declaration by the federal government. The declaration will cut Arizona’s Colorado River supplies by a fifth.

Hundreds of thousands of people have moved to the Phoenix area in recent years looking for affordable homes and sunshine, and home sales have increased by nearly 12 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic, but there's just one problem: The region doesn’t appear to have enough water for all the growth. Read more»

The Bureau of Reclamation is forecasting first-ever water shortages because of falling levels at Lake Mead and says the reservoir could drop so low that it might not be able to generate electricity at Hoover Dam.

Leaders from Reclamation, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Central Arizona Project, which delivers much of the state’s share of the river to more than half its residents, offered a glimpse Thursday of where Arizona stands with the shortage looming. Read more»

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Norman Johnson of the Utah Attorney General’s office, Hualapai Chairman Damon Clarke and Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke, from left, all testified in support of the tribal water-rights bills.

Tribal leaders urged House lawmakers Wednesday to support a handful of bills that would guarantee water to their tribes in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico and fund the water treatment plants and pipelines to deliver it. Read more»

Congress has given its OK to a multistate drought contingency plan that determines how much each Colorado River Basin state is allowed to draw from the river if levels at Lake Mead, hit by years of drought, fall below a certain point.

Two weeks after water officials told Congress there was urgent need to approve the Colorado River drought contingency plan, the House and Senate both passed a plan Monday and sent it to the president’s desk. Read more»

Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Thomas Buschatzke said negotiations with groups inside the state on the possibility of giving up some water rights were difficult initially, but that all sides eventually came together.

The director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources told a U.S. Senate panel Wednesday there is an “urgent need” to authorize a multistate drought contingency plan for the Colorado River basin. Read more»

The shallow, briny Salton Sea, which is California’s largest lake, has high levels of pollution. It is a major recreation area and a key stop for migrating birds.

Arizona lawmakers have agreed to the broad terms of a deal Gov. Doug Ducey helped negotiate but resource managers at California's largest lake remains are demanding $200 million before signing off on the deal Read more»

Arizona water managers have been recharging aquifers for years, 'banking' water for future use. The Drought Contingency Plan now being negotiated would further such efforts.

Negotiations on a drought plan for Arizona took a step forward Thursday when the head of the state water department said Gov. Doug Ducey will ask for $30 million in his upcoming budget proposal to help make the Drought Contingency Plan a reality. Read more»

The effects of a 17-year drought can be seen in calcium markings on sides of Lake Mead in this June photo. Officials have high hopes for a new plan to respond to droughts in the region, but negotiations on the deal have been slow going.

States, federal and Mexican officials hailed a binational agreement this fall that they said could lead to a radical shift in how the region prepares for and responds to drought. Read more»

Years of lingering drought and demand from growing cities have lowered Lake Mead water levels behind Hoover Dam. The situation has improved slightly recently, but the lake is still just 4 feet above the level that would trigger emergency conservation measures.

Arizona’s top water official told a congressional committee that even though the state has done a lot right, years of drought still threaten to push the region into a water emergency in the next few years. Read more» 1

The calcium markings on the rock formations in Lake Mead, a Colorado River reservoir, show the impact of a 17-year drought on water levels. If the level drops below 1,025 feet, a state report says Arizona will lose access to 480,000 acre-feet of water from the Colorado River, or enough water for about a million family households for one year.

Arizona risks losing water rights because of a lingering, nearly two-decade long drought in the Colorado River that could restrict water use ranging from farmers’ crops to how many households receive water, state water experts say. Read more»

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