These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

These Dams Needed Replacing 15 Years Ago. Now Texas will Drain Four Lakes Instead.

Photo: The dam at Lake McQueeny, near Seguin, is one of four remaining in the Guadalupe River Valley in Central Texas that are at risk of failure. MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / THE TEXAS TRIBUNE

Texas officials will start draining four lakes next week in Guadalupe County in Central Texas without a plan in place for when the lakes, and the 90-year-old dams that support them, will be rebuilt. Area homeowners, … [more…]

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

About 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, and most of that is ocean. Only 2.5 percent is fresh water, and only a fraction of that—1 percent—is easily accessible. The world’s population of 7.6 billion is expected to grow to 9.8 billion by the year 2050, which means by that year, more than half the people on Earth will live in water-stressed areas. The demand for potable and … [more…]

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

THE DREAMT LAND
Chasing Water and Dust Across California

By Mark Arax
Reported by J. Steven Young

When delegates to the second International Irrigation Congress convened in Los Angeles in October 1893, pessimism about their mission was not supposed to be on the agenda. The gathering, after all, was meant to encourage reclamation of arid lands throughout the American West, using irrigation to transform an immense wasteland into an agriculturally … [more…]

Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water.

Some … [more…]

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…]