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An irrigation canal moves Colorado River water through farm fields in Yuma.

Arizona, California and Nevada have narrowly averted a regional water crisis by agreeing to reduce their use of Colorado River water over the next three years - but this deal only represents a temporary solution to a long-term crisis. Read more»

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»

The light-colored exposed 'bathtub ring' of formerly submerged shoreline in Lake Mead was already evident in this 2020 photo of the Hoover Dam and diminishing reservoir behind it.

The purchase of Vidler Water Company by D.R. Horton is a clear indication of where the West is headed, as the need grows to find creative new water supplies that will allow national builders to keep building even as regulators try to clamp down on unsustainable growth. Read more»

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation proposed three alternatives to supplement the 2007 environmental impact statement and interim guidelines, which govern operations along the Colorado River. The most severe cuts would hit tribal nations and agriculture users.

Following one of the wettest winters in recent history, Arizona officials anticipate a dry 2024 - as over the 23-year drought, the wettest years have always been followed by some of the driest - while federal water usage cuts loom. Read more»

A set of four tubes known as the 'river outlet works' allow extra water to flow through the Glen Canyon Dam. The flows are designed to take advantage of wet years and help wildlife habitats downstream.

An extra pulse of water was sent through the Grand Canyon, part of a Bureau of Reclamation “high-flow experiment” designed to redeposit sediment from Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona, and in response to above average spring snowmelt forecasts in the Rocky Mountains. 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»

The familiar white 'bathtub rings' show dropping levels on Lake Mead. The reservoir’s stores have been falling for years, setting records for new all-time lows.

Cuts to water use along the Colorado River could be spread evenly across some Southwestern states, or follow the priority system that currently governs water management, as federal officials consider ways to keep hydropower generation going at the nation’s largest reservoirs. Read more»

The Coolidge Dam and San Carlos reservoir impound the Gila River on the San Carlos Indian Reservation.

On the heels of one of the wettest Arizona winters in history, federal, state, local and tribal leaders united to announce a total of $233 million in funding for water conservation agreements to aid the Gila River Indian Community and other Colorado River users. Read more»

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

Arizona is receiving $27.7 million for four projects to increase drought resilience and improve water delivery systems, part of $585 million in funding sent to 11 states as part of last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Read more»

Navajo President Buu Nygren stands behind Navajo Code Talker Peter MacDonald, in wheelchair, outside the Supreme Court, where justices heard the tribe’s challenge to the federal government’s handling of tribal water rights.

Supreme Court justices pressed government attorneys Monday on their argument that the treaties that put the Navajo on reservation lands implied an intent – but not a duty – for the government to provide water to the tribe. 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»

A screenshot from the briefing in the case shows the Navajo reservation situated between Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

The fight for water in the West heads to the Supreme Court next week where the justices will decide if Arizona has a duty to give the Navajo Nation a share of the region's most precious resource - recognition of their water rights to the Colorado River. Read more»

A shot of Lake Mead from August 2022 shows how far water levels have fallen as the result of a historic decades-long drought.

With water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead at record lows, federal officials are ready to spend tens of millions of dollars to get farmers and other water users to conserve in 2023 and keep the reservoirs from falling farther. Read more»

The federal government has historically stayed out of Colorado River negotiations, but has expanded its role in recent years to protect its dams and reservoirs, such as Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell, which has recently fallen to historic lows.

Senators from the seven Western states in the Colorado River basin - including Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly - have been quietly meeting “for about a year,” to facilitate difficult discussions between the states over the future of the river. Read more»

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