In The News — Below are press stories about the ongoing drought in the west, as well as information about the Southern Nevada Water Authority’ (SNWA) “Water Grab” proposed in eastern Nevada and northwestern Utah, along with other development projects that threaten water resources of the Great Basin. [Note: Stories open in new browser window]
January 24, 2014 — LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Some questions about our water — Despite constantly hearing from both past and present water bosses that Las Vegas has nothing to worry about and that the Southwest must and will work together to solve the Colorado River crisis, reading between the lines of the official statements leaves more questions than answers— Howard Watts III, Las Vegas
January 24, 2014 — Contaminated site near Lake Mead to get $1.1B for cleanup — Billions of dollars from an environmental contamination settlement now can be disbursed nationwide, including for cleanup of former uranium sites on the Navajo Nation and a chemical manufacturing site near Lake Mead — AP
January 20, 2014 — Expert panel dives into Colorado River challenges — A panel of Colorado River specialists came together Wednesday night to share insights into a short but far from simple question: Can the Colorado River Survive? Although the group that entertained a large crowd at ASU Havasu’s Daytona Gym didn’t solve all of the river’s problems, they offered diverse views and insightful thought — Havansunews.com
January 16, 2015 — No gambling in Las Vegas – at least when it comes to the future of Colorado River Water rights — Every December, the members of the Colorado River Water Users Association – including water users, federal, tribal, state and local regulators, irrigation districts, engineers, conservationists, and others from all over the southwestern United States — gather at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada to get wild and talk about Colorado River water policy for a few days. 2014 was no exception, and as tends to happen, a significant announcement was made: the major water users of the Colorado River in the Lower Colorado River Basin (Lower Basin) entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to take new, additional actions designed to help avoid serious impacts resulting from sustained drought in the Lower Basin —Lexology.com [Print Version]
January 16, 2015 — Waste not, want not (water) working for area golf courses — More than 900 acres of grass have been removed from Southern Nevada golf courses in the last 12 years, conserving more than 2 billion gallons of water — RJ.com
January 15, 2015 — Exceptional Drought Expands In Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada — CapRaido.org
January 14, 2015 —One River’s Outsize Impact — and the Threat of Drought — [The Colorado Supplies Economic Lifeline to Seven States but Its Future Is Threatened] — A new study for the first time quantifies the economic importance of Colorado River water to seven Western states—and the dire outcome should ongoing droughts dry up even a portion of it — wsj.com
Study details impacts to Utah if Colorado River runs dry — Ksl.com
Report: Colorado River Vital to Arizona's Economy — PublicNewsService.org
January 14, 2015 — Stop the War Against the Colorado River As we head into 2015, the health of Colorado River is at extreme risk as is the economies of states in the lower part of the river in Arizona, Nevada and California that depend on flows in the river. Drought continues in the Southwest U.S., climate change is predicted to decrease river flows an additional 10 to 30 percent, and the level of Lake Mead—the reservoir that holds water for much of Nevada, Arizona and Southern California—continues to fall with no end in sight . . . The Colorado River is a patient in the emergency room. If the patient is bleeding out, you don’t cut open a new artery to heal it, and that’s what the proposed projects by the upstream states would do — By Gary Wockner, PhD, is executive director of the Save The Colorado River Campaign.
Colorado Launch A $20 BILLION Water War Against State’s Rivers?
Is Las Vegas betting the Colorado River will go dry?
January 09, 2015 A Think Tank for the Colorado River’s Future — Have you ever been in a work meeting or a classroom when you realize that you – and probably everyone else in the room – seemed to be talking at cross purposes and had lost track of the problem you were trying to solve? That’s how many of the water experts, local communities, and conservationists focused on the water woes of the Colorado River have come to feel in recent yearsNationalGeographic.com
Related Information — Charting a New Course for the Colorado River: A Summary of Guiding Principles (December, 2014) — ColoradoRiverSearchGroup.org
January 08, 2015 — 2014 was California’s hottest year, and it wasn’t even close California not only sweated through its hottest year on record in 2014 but obliterated the previous mark by nearly 2 degrees, federal scientists said Thursday, while experiencing firsthand some of the worst fears of a warming planet — from intensified drought to melting snowpack — Sfgate.com
December 28, 2014 —
Nevada – the driest state – has no statewide water plan —Nevada is suffering from a debilitating drought, experiencing the impacts of a warming climate and, some say, is deficient when it comes to long-term water planning for the state as a whole. Debate is mounting over the need to begin development of a comprehensive water plan taking into account available water supplies, drought, climate projections and development that will tap limited water resources across the nation's most arid state.
"Our suggestion is rather than a silo approach we need a much broader approach," said Steve Bradhurst, executive director of the eight-county Central Nevada Regional Water Authority, which encompasses 65 percent of Nevada's land mass — By Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazette Journal
December 29, 2014 — A Colorado River Basin shortage did occur this year -- in New Mexico — While the first shortage of the Central Arizona Project has been delayed a couple of years by a groundbreaking, three-state water conservation agreement, New Mexico's San Juan-Chama water diversion project, which serves farmers and the city of Albuquerque, wasn't so lucky — Tucson.com
December 24, 2014 — COLORADO RIVER: Water users scramble as drought foretells scary future — LAS VEGAS -- After 15 straight years of drought, this desert city is rolling the dice on a major engineering project that it hopes will keep some 25 million households from going dry — EEnews.net
December 20, 2014 — Tesla battery factory near Reno will gulp water — RENO: The massive Tesla battery factory being built in Northern Nevada will be a thirsty resident, with some preliminary estimates saying it will require the equivalent of nearly half of the groundwater rights allocated to its Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center neighborhood — RJ.com
December 19, 2014 — Feds ink $300 million Windy Gap water diversion out of Colorado River — Federal water authorities signed off Friday on the $300 million Windy Gap Firming Project to siphon more water out of the Colorado River Basin into a huge new reservoir for the high-growth Front Range. The west-flowing river water — up to 8.4 billion gallons a year pumped back eastward and under the Continental Divide — is expected to meet the needs of 400,000 residents around Broomfield, Longmont, Loveland and Greeley — DenverPost.com
December 17, 2014 —
I-Team: Water pipeline leads to years of court battles — The Southern Nevada Water Authority is moving ahead with plans to import water to the Las Vegas valley from underground aquifers in rural parts of Nevada. But is the plan still workable after decades of court battles over the environmental impact of a giant pipeline? . . . "The water of the state of Nevada belongs to the people of the state of Nevada," said John Entsminger, SNWA general manager. "Seven out of every 10 people live here in the Las Vegas valley."— 8NewsSnow.com
. . . "This pipeline is going to cost in excess of $16 billion to build and the water it's going to pump is of very limited nature and the reason you are pumping it is to sustain unreasonable growth in the Las Vegas valley. It just doesn't make sense," said Rob Mrowka, Center for Biological Diversity. Critics of the pipeline say sucking water out of rural aquifers will dry up streams and wells vital to wildlife and agriculture. "It is never going to be built for a number of reasons; the impact on the environment and rural communities is one," Mrowka said. "But even more, it doesn't make economic sense." — 8NewsSnow.com
December 17, 2014 — States in Parched Southwest Take Steps to Bolster Lake Mead — With a 14-year drought in the Colorado River basin showing few signs of breaking, states along the river’s path are taking new steps this month to ensure that Lake Mead — the Colorado River reservoir that is the water source for much of the Southwest — does not fail them — NyTimes.com
December 13, 2014 — The water question: Tapping into one of Utah's biggest challenges — SALT LAKE CITY — As the snow this weekend finally begins to fall in the mountains and Utah hopes for a banner snowpack this year, water managers know one season will not douse the challenges the state faces when it comes to water. Utah is wrestling with a multibillion-dollar problem with solutions that are rarely appealing — pipeline construction, higher water rates or restrictions on watering — but they are priorities that may emerge as the state's leaders begin to grapple with the enormity of the challenge ahead — DesertNews.com
[More Coverage — The water question: The staggering problem of determining water rights — DesertNews.com]