What drought? These states are gearing up to draw more water from the Colorado.

photo: the Colorado River

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Wyoming wants to modify the Fontenelle Dam so it can use an extra 80,000 acre-feet of water from a tributary of the once-mighty Colorado River. At its headwaters, Denver Water hopes to expand a reservoir’s capacity by 77,000 acre-feet of water. And several hundred miles south, Utah is trying to build a pipeline that can funnel another 86,000 acre-feet out of the river.

There … [more…]

Irrigating wine crops is no longer sustainable!

Irrigating wine crops is no longer sustainable! Linda Johnson-Bell makes the case for ‘Dry-Farming’

Linda Johnson-Bell makes the case for ‘Dry-Farming’

As water becomes more scarce, the wine industry will come under more and more pressure to stop irrigating and move towards completely sustainable water management and usage. Linda Johnson-Bell is a wine author and critic who sees the writing on the wall for producers who tap water supplies to irrigate what is essentially a luxury product.

A good example of this is the … [more…]

Who keeps buying California’s scarce water? Saudi Arabia

Who keeps buying California's scarce water? Saudi Arabia

Saudi-based Almarai owns 15,000 acres of an irrigated valley – but what business does a foreign food production company have drawing resources from a US desert?

Four hours east of Los Angeles, in a drought-stricken area of a drought-afflicted state, is a small town called Blythe where alfalfa is king. More than half of the town’s 94,000 acres are bushy blue-green fields growing the crop.

Massive industrial storehouses line the … [more…]

The Colorado River: A Lifeline Running Dry

A drought in the western United States created a battle over resources, as private landowners compete with the public over access to freshwater supplies.

In April of 2015, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, announced a series of mandatory restrictions, forcing residents to reduce their water usage by 25 percent in the coming year. But despite playing a massive role in depleting local water supplies, the state’s powerful agriculture industry has been … [more…]

Florida lawmakers begin cracking down on polluters

photo: City of Sarasota employees work to contain a sewage spill. (Florida)

Photo: City of Sarasota employees work to contain a sewage spill. Herald-Tribune archive (2011) Mike Lang

But big questions remain about how far they’ll go

TALLAHASSEE — The crowd packed into a committee room in the basement of the Florida House office building burst into applause last week after Rep. Randy Fine finished delivering an impassioned speech about preventing sewage from spilling into waterways.

“If the sergeant would get the … [more…]