Category: ARIZONA_MN Drought_MN NEVADA_MN PATA_West_Drought_2022_related

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Lake Mead could still tank in 2023, despite all we’ve done to save it

By Joanna Allhands

Whatever buffer we may have had (or thought we had) at Lake Mead, it is quickly disappearing. The May 24-month study makes that plain. The monthly, two-year forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has once again been revised down, with lake levels hitting a new potential low of 1,007 feet of elevation in November 2023.


The Colorado River is in crisis, and it’s getting worse every day

By Erin Patrick O'Connor Photo: Matt McClain

It is a powerhouse: a 1,450-mile waterway that stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez, serving 40 million people in seven U.S. states, 30 federally recognized tribes and Mexico. It hydrates 5 million acres of agricultural land and provides critical habitat for rare fish, birds and plants.


Colorado River drought may be the ‘new normal’ and living with it will be costly, leaders say

By Brandon Loomis Photo: Mark Henle

Arizona needs to rapidly invest in both water conservation and new supplies to offset losses from a shrinking Colorado River, the state’s top water officials warned Friday.


As drought crisis deepens, government will release less water from Colorado River reservoir

By Ian James Photo : Luis Sinco , Los Angeles Times

After years of severe drought compounded by climate change, the water level in Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir on the Colorado River, has dropped to just 24% of full capacity and is continuing to decline to levels not seen since the reservoir was filled in the 1960s.


‘We are human beings’: Randolph residents bus in to Phoenix to protest SRP expansion plans

By Joshua Bowling Photo: Monica D. Spencer , The Republic

A group of residents from a small, historically Black community some 60 miles southeast of Phoenix traveled by bus Tuesday morning to protest a major gas plant expansion. As state regulators prepared to vote on the project, the residents saw themselves as David, the shepherd, facing Goliath, the Philistine warrior.


As Lake Powell Hits Landmark Low, Arizona Looks to a $1 Billion Investment and Mexican Seawater to Slake its Thirst

By Aydali Campa Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

During his last year in office, Gov. Doug Ducey is trying to create a legacy of water security in drought-stricken Arizona. But his most ambitious effort in that quest could end up being in Mexico.


Tree rings from centuries past may help reveal a warming planet’s future

By Karen Peterson Photo: Cassidy Araiza for The Washington Post

Each specimen in a strangely beautiful “treehouse” laboratory here tells a story of resilience — from droughts and floods to catastrophic wildfires and bitter winters, some occurring thousands of years ago.


Lake Powell Is in Big Trouble

By Molly Taft

Lake Powell, on the border of Utah and Arizona, is a crucial reservoir along the Colorado River, part of a system that supplies water for 40 million people in multiple states across the West. As of Tuesday, according to readings provided by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the lake stood at 3,526 feet (1,074.73 meters) above sea level, or around 24% of its total capacity. That’s just 1 foot above a threshold of water outlined in drought contingency plans, which would trigger additional releases from upstream water sources. Authorities say that this month, the lake could dip below the 3,525-foot (1,074.2-meter) trigger point, part of a series of new lows the lake has been hitting since reaching its previous lowest level on record, 3,555.09 feet (1083.6 meters), in July. The image above, captured by the European Union’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite in late February, shows the parched Colorado River and Lake Powell from space.


In major reversal, Arizona utility regulators kill 100% clean-energy rules in the state

By Ryan Randazzo Photo: Brian Snyder

The rules appeared on the verge of passage last year when Jim O’Connor, a Republican member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Anna Tovar, a Democratic member, reached a compromise.


New electric-car chargers in downtown Tucson meet growing need

By David Wichner Photo: Ana Beltran , Arizona Daily Star

Electric vehicle drivers will have more options to recharge while in downtown Tucson, thanks to a new bank of chargers installed by Hotel Congress that is seen as a model for other businesses.