The drought-stricken Colorado River is in critical condition. Almost two years ago, the federal government declared the first ever shortage on the river, triggering cuts to water supplies in the Southwest. Today, the river remains unsustainably low. The Colorado is the lifeblood of the region. It waters some of the country’s fastest growing cities, nourishes some of our most fertile fields, and powers $1.4 trillion dollars in annual economic activity. The river runs more than 1,400 miles, from headwaters in the Rockies to its delta in northern Mexico where it ends in a trickle.
In an effort to combat the devastating drought conditions hitting California, the Golden State will become the first in the nation to install solar panel canopies over canals.
The $20 million pilot project funded by the state has been dubbed “Project Nexus.” It will consist of an estimated 8,500 feet of solar panels installed over three sections of Turlock Irrigation District (TID) canals in Central California. It is expected to break ground in the fall, and be completed by 2023. The project was first announced back in February.
Wild weather will bear down on the holiday season with a soaking atmospheric river for the West, drenching tropical downpours for the South and soaring temperatures in the East. For most, dreams of a white Christmas will remain just that.
Each glass of water, shower or flush costs far more than it did just eight years ago — and your water is bill is likely to go up again in 2019.
The average water and sewer bill in 50 cities jumped 3.6% this year, marking the eighth consecutive year of increases, according to a recent annual study from Bluefield Research. Since 2012, water bills have surged 31%, outpacing inflation.
As rain moves closer to fire-ravaged communities in Northern California, federal search-and-rescue team member Brian Ferreira said the pressure was on to find remains of victims of the Camp Fire. Almost 700 people were reported missing, and at least 79 people are dead. “The material that we’re dealing with it’s heavily, you know, ash and soot, and when the water touches that, it kinda turns to sediment, almost like soil again,” Ferreira said. “It is kinda urgent, yeah, that we get through this as quick as we can.”
Hoover Dam is one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Built during the Great Depression, it was the biggest public works project in the country. Now, as California and the West expand into renewable energy, there’s a $3 billion plan to bring the power plant into the 21st century.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is aiming for the state to be carbon-neutral by 2045. Brown signed an executive order Monday announcing the goal to eliminate carbon emissions in the state within 27 years. He also signed a bill,, making the state’s electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. The bill represents an ambitious move by the world’s fifth-largest economy. “It’s impossible to overstate how significant it is for a state as large and influential as California to commit to 100 percent clean energy,” the Sierra Club said in a statement.
More than 80,000 people in the mountain community of Lynchburg, Virginia, were at risk, and 120 families evacuated, when rising waters from nearby College Lake reecently. Although calamity was averted when the water receded, the incident was a frightening reminder of the growing risk facing millions of Americans. The average age of the 90,580 dams located across the U.S is 56 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Worryingly, more than 15,000 of them are considered “high hazard” and – like the Lynchburg dam built in the 1930s – need to be repaired or replaced.