Partisan divide narrows on water, transit funding

E & E News — Senate negotiators said yesterday they’re closing in on a bipartisan infrastructure agreement but are still haggling over funding for water projects and transit — two major sticking points that may cost the votes of key Democrats. Several senators involved in the talks said yesterday that a fight over water funding had been solved. “I think that’s resolved — Read More…

Newly introduced bill aims to increase access to clean water in…

Arizona Public Media — A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate aims to provide billions of dollars to improve access to clean water in tribal lands. One of the senators who introduced the bill, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., wrote in the foreword of a report about tribal water access within the Colorado River Basin that one estimate states 48% of households within tribal lands lack Read More…

Desalination advances in California despite opponents pushing for…

Reuters — Environmentalists say desalination decimates ocean life, costs too much money and energy, and soon will be made obsolete by water recycling. But as Western states face an epic drought, regulators appear ready to approve a desalination plant in Huntington Beach, California. After spending 22 years and $100 million navigating a thicket of state regulations and environmentalists’ Read More…

TID experiencing fourth-driest year in 90 years

Turlock Journal — With just one month left in the precipitation year and little rainfall to show for it, Turlock Irrigation District and its customers are currently experiencing the fourth-driest year on record. According to TID hydrologist Olivia Cramer, the Tuolumne River Watershed has received just 18.23 inches of precipitation since Sept. 1, or just about half of the historical Read More…

Great Salt Lake hits historic low, potentially releasing…

The Hill — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported Saturday that average daily water levels fell by about an inch below the previous record of 4,191.4 feet above sea level, which was set in 1963. The agency has kept a record of the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere since 1847. Officials said streamflow levels in Utah are also being affected by the extreme drought, with Read More…

California may curtail pre-1914 water rights

Western Farm Press — California's State Water Resources Control Board has signaled it may soon approve a drought emergency regulation curtailing diversions within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region for landowners with pre-1914 water rights -- the most senior of rights in the state. The board will consider during its Aug. 3-4 meeting issuing the notices throughout the vast Delta Read More…

Demand management discussions continue amid worsening Colorado River…

Summit Daily — The crisis on the Colorado River is not waiting for the state of Colorado to develop a program to avoid water shortages. That was the message that Colorado Water Conservation Board members received from some commenters at their regular meeting Wednesday, July 21. The state water board is investigating the feasibility of a program known as demand management, which would pay Read More…

Snow can disappear straight into the atmosphere in hot, dry weather

The Conversation — Creeks, rivers and lakes that are fed by melting snow across the U.S. West are already running low as of mid-July 2021, much to the worry of farmers, biologists and snow hydrologists like me. This is not surprising in California, where snow levels over the previous winter were well below normal. But it is also true across Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, which in general Read More…

What It Means to Store Water for the Environment

Public Policy Institute of California — It’s no secret that California’s ecosystems suffer during droughts. In times of water scarcity, environmental uses are often low priority, leading to fish die-offs and other negative outcomes. For the next year, Professor Sarah Null of Utah State University will be working with a diverse team of experts to study how to better manage water stored Read More…