Managing water

Kate Groetzinger, KUER

Some communities in the West that are solely reliant on groundwater are starting to run into problems. That’s the case in Moab, Utah. The tourist hot spot gets most of its supply from an underground aquifer. But recent studies found there’s less water than previously thought. And that’s led to a reckoning over development and the virtues of conservation. From KUER in Utah, Kate Groetzinger has the story.


When it comes to water in the West, a lot of it is visible. Snow stacks up high in the mountains then eventually melts and flows down into valleys. It’s easy to see how heavy rains and rushing rivers translate into an abundance of available water. But another important factor of water availability is much harder to see.

Beneath the surface, the amount of moisture held in the ground can play a big role in how much water makes it down to rivers and reservoirs – and eventually into the pipes that feed homes and businesses.

States in the Colorado River Basin are poised to begin negotiating policies to govern the critical Western water source.

Officials from all seven states in the watershed sent a letter this week to Interior Department secretary David Bernhardt, letting the federal government know they’re ready to start hammering out details of operating guidelines for the biggest reservoirs in the country.

KSJD Local Newscast - December 3, 2020

Dec 3, 2020

The ancient people of western Utah’s Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view, with cattails, bulrushes and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.