Drought Spreads to 93 Percent of West — That’s Never Happened

Drought Spreads to 93 Percent of West—That’s Never Happened

Photo: In an aerial view, the San Gabriel River and the exposed lakebed of the San Gabriel Reservoir are seen on June 29, 2021 in the San Gabriel Mountains near Azusa, California. Credit: Mario Tama Getty Images

The western United States is experiencing its worst drought this century, threatening to kill crops, spark wildfires and harm public health as hot and dry conditions are expected to continue this month.

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‘Everything is drying up’: As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened

'Everything is drying up': As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened

Max Taylor, a Hopi Tribe water resources technician, stands near Lemeva Spring on the Hopi Reservation on July 30, 2020. The Hopi say they have used this spring for over a thousand years. DAVID WALLACE/THE REPUBLIC

The Hopi see influence of climate change — and suspect a link to coal industry’s groundwater pumping.

MISHONGNOVI — At the base of a sandstone mesa, the ground descends in a series of stone … [more…]

It’s Time to Plan for Drier Western Rivers

It’s Time to Plan for Drier Western Rivers

Three recent studies highlight how climate change will jeopardize the water supply from Western rivers. The best antidote, researchers say, is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. | Illustration by Maddy Olson

A strange thing happens during particularly wet winters in California: farmers flood their fields. Never mind that crops are dormant and soil is already saturated — these farmers are more concerned about what lies beneath their land. Aquifers … [more…]

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…]