The Town That Extended ‘Smart Growth’ to Its Water

photo: Colorado city. The Town That Extended ‘Smart Growth’ to Its Water

Photo: The Rocky Mountains rise behind the Denver skyline. Charlie Riedel/AP

As Western states grapple with drought, Westminster, Colorado, has become a model for its integration of water data into the planning process.

As with so many towns in the West, the history of Westminster, Colorado, can be told through its water supply.

The turning point in that history was the hot, dry summer of 1962. Westminster was already embroiled … [more…]

Case study suggests new approach to urban water supply

Graphic: MIT study on water infrastructure

If you live in the developed world, safe water is usually just a faucet-turn away. And yet, global warming, drought conditions, and population growth in coming decades could change that, ushering in an era of uncertain access to water.

Now an MIT-based research team has evaluated those potential problems and, based on a case study in Australia, suggested an alternate approach to water planning. In a new paper, the researchers … [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…]

Running Dry: New Strategies for Conserving Water on the Colorado

Running Dry: New Strategies for Conserving Water on the Colorado

Photo: A canal diverts water from the Colorado River to farms in Palisade, Colorado. Ted Wood

Communities along the Colorado River are facing a new era of drought and water shortages that is threatening their future. With an official water emergency declaration now possible, farmers, ranchers, and towns are searching for ways to use less water and survive.

From the air, the Grand Valley Water Users Association canal — 10 … [more…]

How the 2019 winter washed away California’s drought

How the 2019 winter washed away California's drought

Photo: Aerial view of snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. Credit: NOAA

Monday, March 25th 2019, 11:47 am – Every major reservoir in the state is above historic revels, and there are some that are completely full

Last week marked the first time since December 2011 that California has been free of drought conditions, breaking a 376-week streak.

Only some reservoirs in the far northern edge of the state, along the Oregon … [more…]