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The water level in Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam in Feb. 2022. A new agreement among Arizona, California and Nevada offers a temporary fix to the region’s water issues.

State and federal officials are celebrating an agreement reached this week by Arizona, California and Nevada to reduce their use of Colorado River water by millions of gallons over the next three years - but it’s a temporary reprieve. Read more»

The Lower Basin Plan would result in greater protections for Lake Mead and Lake Powell than the alternatives analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Arizona, California and Nevada have agreed on a plan to conserve 3 million acre-feet from the Colorado River over the next three years, and the Lower Basin Plan has the support from all seven Colorado River Basin States. Read more»

Lake Mead water levels behind the Hoover Dam in May 2022 show the effect of long-term drought on water levels there. One plan to prop up water levels in the Colorado River basin is to pay farmers in Upper Basin states to converse water.

California and Arizona are currently fighting each other over water from the Colorado River, but this isn’t new - it’s actually been going on for over 100 years; at one point, the states literally went to war about it - and the problem comes down to some really bad math from 1922. Read more»

Heavy rains have been a boon to California’s vineyards, helping them bounce back after years of drought. But the rains and snows from one of the state’s wettest winters on record has been a curse for farmers of other crops that have been devastated by flooding.

A stream of storms drenched both California and Arizona, and the intensity and frequency of rain marching through one of the most productive agricultural regions of the nation has blessed some farmers after years of drought, while devastating others. Read more»

Heavy rains have been a boon to California's vineyards, helping them bounce back after years of drought. But the rains and snows from one of the state's wettest winters on record has been a curse for farmers of other crops that have been devastated by flooding.

Una corriente de tormentas empapó tanto a California como a Arizona, y la intensidad y frecuencia de la lluvia que azota una de las regiones agrícolas más productivas del país ha bendecido a algunos agricultores después de años de sequía, mientras que ha devastado a otros. Read more»

Snowfall in the Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during Nov. 2022. The California snow pack is223% of normal this week and could help provide water late into the year as it melts.

After watching billions of gallons of rainwater wash away into the Pacific, California is taking advantage of extreme weather with a new approach: Let it settle back into the earth for use another day. Read more»

Western states are negotiating massive cuts to Colorado River water use to save essential reservoirs such as Lake Mead.

Western state water officials will spend the next few months trying to agree on how to divvy up water from the Colorado River, devastated by the worst drought in more than a thousand years - and if the states can’t agree, federal officials will unilaterally impose cuts later this year. Read more»

The Law of the River was enacted 100 years ago and gives senior rights to California, and further complicating things is the Central Arizona Project, a 335-mile aqueduct that sends Colorado River water to Phoenix and Tucson.

While six states came up with a consensus plan last week regarding cutting water use from a dwindling supply of the Colorado River, a lone wolf — California — came up with its own. Read more»

Sen. Mark Kelly during a press conference in downtown Tucson in May.

U.S. Senator Mark Kelly pushed federal officials to withhold funding California's Salton Sea project in order to force the state to conserve more water from the Colorado River. Read more»

A sign marks the water line last year at Lake Mead, which has since fallen to historically low levels. That triggered a water conservation plan for states in the river basin, but Arizona officials complain that they have to bear too much of the burden while states like California are not being hit.

Faced with deep cuts to the water supply, and angry that other states are not doing their share, tribes and local governments in Arizona are increasingly talking about backing off earlier offers to give up some water. Read more»

Some states have created Yellow Alert systems aimed at helping make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers.

States are creating a Yellow Alert system for fatal hit-and-run crashes - similar to an Amber Alert for abducted children - in hopes it will help make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers. Read more»

Project Nexus, which will break ground this fall in Central California, aims to test water and energy conservation using solar-panel canopies.

A pilot project in California’s lush Central Valley looks to save water and increase energy efficiency by building solar-panel canopies over existing canals - but such a solution is impractical in Arizona, where costs would be too high and the savings too low. Read more»

Experts believe some of the world’s largest remaining lithium deposits are buried deep beneath the Salton Sea.

Seeking to break China’s monopoly of the lithium battery market, the Biden administration awarded $35 million to boost a mining operation in California and help reduce America’s reliance on China, while also touting a separate planned extraction project and battery recycling plant. Read more»

Tom Buschatzke, the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, said that Arizona has been under a state of drought emergency since 1999.

A California conservation law being implemented over the next two decades, along with a range of actions by communities, provide a preview of difficult policy choices communities across the West will have to grapple with as climate change pushes water shortages to crisis levels. Read more»

Oil from Amazon rainforest goes to California refineries, airlines, retailers, and fleets, a new study shows.

A new report has pinpointed California as the destination for half of the oil drilled in the environmentally fragile Amazon rainforest, just one day after a high court in Ecuador overruled a resource extraction project that violated the constitutional rights of nature. Read more»

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