Risk of severe water shortages in the seven-state Colorado River Basin have risen dramatically since April with new forecasts indicating that lakes Powell and Mead could hit crisis levels much sooner than previously expected.
Diane Mitsch Bush, the Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, pledged cooperation and Lauren Boebert, her Republican challenger, promised to fight — the Front Range, neighboring states and the federal government — to protect Western Slope water.
If you’ve watched TV in Colorado lately, chances are you’ve been bombarded with commercials for various sports betting platforms. Now, as you surf the internet, you might also see ads connecting the state’s newly legalized sports betting industry with funding for Colorado water projects.
The Trump administration’s new definition of “waters of the United States” dramatically shrinks federal protection of many wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act. The rule change cuts red tape for farmers and developers but could threaten ecosystems and drinking water, especially in the arid West.
Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin talks to Cynthia Koehler, director of the Water Now Alliance, about the many challenges facing water providers and the solutions they are pursuing to make water systems more resilient and sustainable.
Colorado water quality regulators’ attempt to fast-track new rules shielding streams left unprotected by changes to the Clean Water Act was abandoned earlier this month after it failed to win support from lawmakers.
Though many agricultural interests and water utilities support the new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, as it is known, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Patrick Pfaltzgraff, director of the state’s Water Quality Control Division, said they will take legal action to protect streams that are no longer subject to federal oversight.
The Water Desk spoke with Rebecca Watson and John Leshy, who visited the University of Colorado Boulder campus recently for an armchair debate hosted by the Getches-Wilkinson Center.
Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed it. The goal is to provide river flows and habitat for fish while still allowing enough water to be diverted for farms and cities in a way that satisfies state regulators.
Water conservation in California’s southern desert is causing an environmental disaster as the Salton Sea quickly shrinks.
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