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Is that an outlaw lawn? Las Vegas has a new approach to saving water

By Henry Fountain Photo: Joe Buglewicz

With drought and growth taking a toll on the Colorado River, the source of 90 percent of the region’s water, a new law mandates the removal of turf, patch by patch.


Lake Mead plummets to unprecedented low, exposing original 1971 water intake valve

By Stephanie Elam

The West is in the grips of a climate change-fueled megadrought, and Lake Mead — the largest manmade reservoir in the country and a source of water for millions of people — has fallen to an unprecedented low.


Southern California ‘cannot afford green lawns’ as drought forces unprecedented water cuts

By Hayley Smith , Ian James & Others Photo: Frederic J. Brown , Getty Images

Millions of Southern California residents are bracing for less water and many brown lawns as drought and climate change leave a large swath of the region with a growing water shortage.


California’s driest start to the year sparks water, wildfire concerns

By Andrew Freedman

California is entering the dry season with its water resources in a precarious position, having seen its driest start to the year on record. A heat wave last week sent temperatures soaring into the 90s and even triple-digits in some locations, as the paltry Sierra Nevada snowpack shrunk even further.


The longest drought, redefined

Maps of the American West have featured ever darker shades of red over the past two decades. The colors illustrate the unprecedented drought blighting the region. In some areas, conditions have blown past severe and extreme drought into exceptional drought. But rather than add more superlatives to the descriptions, one group of scientists believes it's time to reconsider the very definition of drought.


Snowpack Report Underscores Need for Transformative Changes to Address Record-Setting California Drought

By Heather Cooley, Dr. Peter Gleick and Others

The severe California drought is continuing for a third year, and there will be major consequences for ecosystems, agriculture, and urban and rural water users across California.


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.


California’s drought is strangling the farming industry

By Scott Wilson Photo: John Brecher/For The Washington Post

Westside Elementary opened its doors nearly a century ago here in the San Joaquin Valley, among the most productive agricultural regions on earth. As recently as 1995, nearly 500 students filled its classrooms. Now 160 students attend and enrollment is falling fast.


Drought in American West worst since Charlemagne

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images for the New York Times

The American West is experiencing the worst drought in at least 1,200 years, new research shows, and climate change is responsible for 42 percent of its severity. The drought, which began in 2000 and has taken a toll on water supplies and fueled wildfires across the region, had previously been considered the worst in 500 years but a dramatic drying in 2021, when about two-thirds of the American West was in extreme drought, “really pushed it over the top,” A. Park Williams, a climate scientist and study author, told the New York Times.


Study finds Western megadrought is the worst in 1,200 years

By Nathan Rott Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR/NPR

Shrunk reservoirs. Depleted aquifers. Low rivers. Raging wildfires. It’s no secret that the Western U.S. is in a severe drought. New research published Monday shows just how extreme the situation has become.