Arizona’s Water Supplies

Arizona's Water Supplies

Over the last decade and a half, the Southwest has experienced significant drought conditions. These conditions can lead to changes in our state’s water supply availability.

Fortunately, Arizona has developed a diverse portfolio of water supplies and management strategies which serve as the foundation of our State’s robust water system. This diversity allows Arizona to more effectively manage water resources, allows the state to subsist with the effects of existing … [more…]

As New Mexico Reservoirs Hit Bottom, Worries Grow Over the Future

As New Mexico Reservoirs Hit Bottom, Worries Grow Over the Future

The state’s reservoirs have done their job to help water users survive record drought in 2018. Now they are almost totally dry, and tensions are building over the year ahead. ‘Climate change is really happening,’ one water official says.

Elephant Butte Reservoir, the largest in New Mexico, photographed on Sept. 10, 2018, when it was at a mere 3.7 percent of capacity. Right now, New Mexico’s largest reservoir is at … [more…]

Drought Forces Hard Choices for Farmers and Ranchers in the Southwest

map: Drought Forces Hard Choices for Farmers and Ranchers in the Southwest

Large reservoirs have buffered urban areas in the Southwest from the worst of the year’s dry conditions, but rural farmers and ranchers are bearing the brunt of water shortages and the economic fallout.

CHESTER, Utah – It’s only the beginning of August – typically the height of the farming season – but the irrigation ponds here in Sanpete County ran dry a month ago. They are now filled with brush … [more…]

United States: Water deficits to diminish in the SW, surpluses ahead for FL

map: forecast water conditions in the USA

United States: Water deficits to diminish in the Southwest, surpluses ahead for Florida

The Big Picture

The 12-month forecast indicates severe water deficits in the Northeast, relatively normal conditions in the Appalachian region south to the Gulf, primarily moderate deficits in the interior plains, intense surpluses in the Northern Rockies, and moderate to exceptional deficits in the southern Rockies, Southwest, and West. Severe deficits are forecast for Vermont and Massachusetts, … [more…]

The water war that will decide the fate of 1 in 8 Americans

The water war that will decide the fate of 1 in 8 Americans

Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn.

For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the American West. … [more…]