New Mexico
lake powell_62923969

Unprepared for more years of drought, basin states work to preserve Lake Powell.

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Drought Farmers in areas of New Mexico and Mexico have agreed for the second year to delay their irrigation water deliveries from the Rio Grande until June due to an ongoing drought, the El Paso Times reported. The city of El Paso is also preparing for water conservation measures and could supplement its water supply […]

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James Clapper, director of national intelligence, presented the 2014 assessment of global security threats to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week. For the fourth consecutive report, a section is dedicated to water. “Risks to freshwater supplies – due to shortages, poor quality, floods, and climate change – are growing,” according to the 31-page […]

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In a normal week, I use this space to look back at U.S. government water news from the seven days that have just passed. Today, however, I turn the lens in the opposite direction. These are the policies, reports, and decisions to anticipate in 2014, organized chronologically, more or less. Great Lakes The government gets […]

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Dropping When It’s Hot The Santa Ana watershed, home to 6 million people in Southern California, faces a number of threats to its water supply because of climate change, according to a comprehensive Bureau of Reclamation study. River flows and precipitation will decrease, as will the amount of water infiltrating the basin’s aquifers, which provide […]

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A National Research Council report argues that groundwater use today is leaving society poorly prepared for potential rapid climate changes in the future.

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Much of New Mexico is in drought, but signs of water abound near Taos.

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USDA_flying w ranch

When residents in Santa Fe, New Mexico pay their water bills, they are now also paying for forest restoration.

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Africa Ethiopia is proceeding with construction of the controversial Grand Renaissance Dam, now 21 percent complete, in order to boost its hydropower production, Reuters reported. On Tuesday, the country began diverting part of the Nile to facilitate further construction. Fighting has damaged infrastructure and created a severe water shortage in Mali’s city of Gao, Voice […]

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U.S.GW-Depletion.Map.w-Expl

Groundwater depletion in the United States has accelerated over the last decade, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, contributing to both localized problems and global issues, like sea level rise.

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Of the fish species closely monitored by NOAA for dangerous depletion, two thirds have recovered or are rebuilding. The results are encouraging, National Geographic reported, but management plans implemented over the past 10 to 15 years have still left one third of the monitored species at low levels. State-Level Water Management Some in southern New […]

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United States In his State of the Union address yesterday, President Obama promised to take action on climate change, even if Congress refuses. “The fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods — all are now more frequent and more intense,” he said. […]

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Winter Storms An Israeli security barrier built mostly in occupied areas of the West Bank is blocking the drainage of flood waters after a winter storm, Reuters reported. The wall does have drainage channels, but many are closed or clogged with debris. Conditions for Syrian refugees have further deteriorated after the eastern Mediterranean region was […]

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Colorado River 23 Swimming Pools

A bird’s eye view of the Colorado River demonstrates how persistent drought conditions affect the basin and how the southern Nevada region manages its share of what trickles down.

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The Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project envisions a dam 700 feet tall capable of producing 600 megawatts from a 39-mile-long reservoir on the Susitna River in south-central Alaska. It would generate half the electricity currently produced in the state’s most populous region, and it would be the largest dam built in the United States since the late […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its new framework for addressing the twinned problems of stormwater and sewer overflows. Nearly eight months in the making, the framework will give municipalities greater flexibility in how they meet federal water quality standards by allowing them to fix the most dire problems first. The […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that a pollution permit, called a NPDES permit in the lingo, will not be necessary for stormwater coming from logging roads. The agency will continue to study the best way to reduce sediment runoff from what it calls “a relatively small subset” of roads that affect stream quality. Powder […]

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San Luis Valley

Groundwater is a proven crutch for dry times, but how much weight can it hold?

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Groundwater Rescues New Mexico Farmers

Surface water allocations last year were 10 percent of normal, but record levels of groundwater pumping buoyed production in the state’s top agricultural region.

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Walton-006

As water availability data starts coming in, this year’s water allocations and the potential consequences for irrigation, hydropower, wildfires, and flooding are being assessed — La Niña weather patterns have returned this year, but water supply conditions generally are not as extreme as they were 2011.

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