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water shortage

  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis has vetoed a bill that would have required developers to include electric vehicle chargers in new building projects. And lawmakers in Washington, D.C. discussed the Western water crisis on Tuesday.
  • Colorado has been collecting more taxes than it can legally spend in recent years. And the seven states in the Colorado River basin are giving their approval to a proposed set of water cutbacks from the federal government.
  • Lake Powell is in crisis. So reports KUNC’s Alex Hager, who covers the Colorado River. Just last month, water in the nation's second largest reservoir dipped below the target elevation. Now, the federal government is moving forward with emergency cutbacks for several states.
  • A new plan will release water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, a measure designed to boost dropping levels in Lake Powell. The releases come as a response to record lows, which are on course to drop too low to generate hydropower at the Glen Canyon dam. The Drought Response Operations Plan brings together the four states of the upper Colorado River basin – Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico – and the federal government.
  • America’s largest homebuilder is buying a water resources company with holdings throughout the Colorado River Basin. And the city of Moab has hired a new police chief after eight tumultuous months.
  • Colorado’s top water agency is pausing investigations into “demand management,” a program that would pay people to use less water and send it to Lake Powell for storage. And the Colorado Senate has approved a bill that would force hospitals to allow visitors during future public health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A report released Monday says Lake Powell has lost four percent of its storage capacity since 1986. And federal funding for a central sewer system in Rico was approved by Congress, although there are concerns the town won’t meet the deadline to use them.
  • The federal government declared a water shortage for much of the Southwest last week, resulting in the first ever mandatory cutbacks for some who draw from the Colorado River. As two decades of drought, increased demand and climate change cut deep into the West’s water supply, the region is looking ahead to a future where supplies might drop further still.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation declared a water shortage for the lower Colorado River Basin and climate change is making it hard to predict when that might end; The Kwiyagat Academy on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation is still accepting students for its fall academic year.
  • The federal government declared an official water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time ever, and that means cuts in the water supply; Montezuma County has released a resource guide for residents who are struggling to pay rent or mortgage payments during the pandemic.