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water shortage

  • The System Conservation Pilot Program was recently rebooted with $125 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to fight shrinking water levels in Lake Powell.
  • Conservatives in northern Colorado are trying to recall a state senator who left the Republican party this week to become a Democrat. And seven water utilities from across the Colorado River basin released a new commitment for conservation on Wednesday, but their efforts will be a small part of helping a region strained by drought and overuse.
  • With water supply is dwindling in the West, Utah is Utah trying to figure out who can divert water from streams and rivers — and when they can do it. But there isn’t a consistent statewide distribution system in place, and without it, celebrated changes to water law fall flat.
  • Federal officials aren’t ready to give states along the Colorado River a new deadline for water conservation goals. And an initiative that would create a state affordable housing fund in Colorado will be on the ballot in November.
  • Stakeholders along the Colorado River are trying to figure out how to drastically cut their use of water, and fast. Now, tribes are asking for a bigger say in the negotiations over how to do it. They are senior water rights holders along the Colorado, but they have historically been left out of decision-making about it.
  • One of Colorado’s top water officials says he can’t enforce recent federal demands to start conserving more on the Colorado River. And Colorado Parks and Wildlife is enacting voluntary fishing closures in Southwest Colorado.
  • Blue Mesa Reservoir once resembled a deep and healthy lake. But a 22-year drought - coupled with obligations to release water to downstream users - has left the reservoir almost 60 feet below the normal high watermark. Experts say it will take a lot more than one snowy winter to refill the reservoir.
  • An update this week to Colorado's water plan finds shortages are likely to intensify in Colorado as temperatures get warmer due to climate change. Colorado’s updated water plan comes as the southwestern part of the state actually got some drought relief thanks to an unusually wet June.
  • 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.