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A New Round of Colorado River Cuts Is Announced

By Henry Fountain Photo: caitlin Ochs, Reuters

With water levels in the Colorado River near their lowest point ever, Arizona and Nevada on Tuesday faced new restrictions on the amount of water they can pump out of the river, the most important in the Southwest.
And the threat of more cuts looms. This week, those two states along with five others failed to meet a deadline for agreement on much steeper cuts in water use, raising the prospect that the federal government will step in and mandate further reductions.


U.S. announces more water cuts as Colorado River hits dire lows

By Joshua Partlow and Others Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

As the historic drought in the U.S. Southwest pushes the nation’s largest reservoirs to record lows, the Biden administration Tuesday announced that water shortages along the Colorado River had passed a threshold for the first time that will require unprecedented water cuts in Arizona and Nevada.


Today’s Headlines: Negotiations have yet to produce a deal for the shrinking Colorado River

By Elvia Limon Photo: Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles Times

Two months ago, federal officials told seven states that depend on Colorado River water to prepare for emergency cuts next year to prevent reservoirs from dropping to dangerously low levels.
The states and managers of affected water agencies were told to come up with plans to reduce water use drastically. After weeks of negotiations, which some participants say have at times grown tense and acrimonious, the parties have yet to reach an agreement.


With California expected to lose 10% of its water within 20 years, Newsom calls for urgent action

By Ian James

With California enduring historic drought amplified by global warming, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a new plan to adapt to the state’s hotter, drier future by capturing and storing more water, recycling more wastewater and desalinating seawater and salty groundwater.


As Drought Hits Farms, Investors Lay Claim to Colorado Water

By Jennifer Oldham Photo: Sarah Gilman

Michael Jones ducked under an idle sprinkler and strode across the sandy soil where he planned to plant drought-resistant crops, hoping to save water amid the driest period in more than 1,200 years.


State refuses request for more water in communities with high wildfire risk

By Alex Wigglesworth Photo: Kent Nishimura, Los Angeles Times

State officials have denied a request by Southern California municipal water districts for more water to mitigate wildfire risk.
The agencies had worked with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to ask the California Department of Water Resources to allocate 26,300 more acre-feet of water under the health-and-safety exception to drought rules, using the rationale that the exception should include supplies to reduce wildfire hazards by irrigating vegetation in high-risk areas.


Due to climate change, Nevada says goodbye to grass

By John D'Amelio Photo: CBS News

In Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s come to this: climate change has helped make water ever more scarce, so under a new Nevada law, the grass has got to go. “When we look at outdoor water use in Southern Nevada, landscaping far and away is the largest water user, and of that, it’s grass,” said Bronson Mack of the Las Vegas Water Authority.


Saltwater toilets, desperate wildlife: Water-starved Catalina Island battles against drought

By Hayley Smith Photo: Francine Orr

Island-dweller Lori Snell grimaced as she tallied her bill recently at the Avalon Laundry — nearly $50 for three large loads. “It’s always an adventure to live in Catalina,” said Snell, 64. “It’s a joy, it’s a paradise, it’s a challenge.”


Utah’s Great Salt Lake is drying out, threatening ecological, economic disaster

By Nathan Frandino Photo: Nathan Frandino

Utah’s Great Salt Lake dropped to its lowest recorded level this month amid a two-decade drought, a grim milestone as researchers and politicians point to grave threats to wildlife and people along its receding shores.


Shocking Photos Show Lake Mead’s Historically Low Water Levels

By Molly Taft Photo: John Locher , AP

Stranded boats, desiccated fish, and no water on cracked ground that once made a shoreline. That’s the new business-as-usual for Lake Mead, where the West’s punishing drought and chronic water overuse have combined to render the lake almost unrecognizable as water levels continue to plummet.