Two States and Mexico Ordered to Decrease Use of Colorado River Water

The mighty Colorado River isn’t so mighty anymore. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Tuesday steps will be taken to protect the increasingly fragile source of water.

“The worsening drought crisis impacting the Colorado River Basin is driven by the effects of climate change, including extreme heat and low precipitation. In turn, severe drought conditions exacerbate wildfire risk and ecosystems disruption, increasing the stress on communities and our landscapes,” said Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau.

Western States Hit With More Cuts to Colorado River Water

For the second year in a row, Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River as the West endures more drought, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Though the cuts will not result in any immediate new restrictions — like banning lawn watering or car washing — they signal that unpopular decisions about how to reduce consumption are on the horizon, including whether to prioritize growing cities or agricultural areas. Mexico will also face cuts.

Newsom’s “Water Supply Strategy” Geared to Combat Drought, Climate Change

The Golden State is doing more than just praying for rain amidst the historic drought that is battering the state and the western United States.

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan that would increase California’s water supply and combat the extreme weather patterns caused by climate change. The initiative, its scope captured in the 19-page “California’s Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future” document released by Newsom’s administration, will invest $8 billion in water recycling, storage, and desalination.

US: Drought-Stricken States to Get Less From Colorado River

For the second year in a row, Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River as the West endures an extreme drought, federal officials announced Tuesday. California has avoided cutbacks for now.

West’s Drought Recovery Still Years Away Despite Recent Monsoons

Heavy monsoon rains have helped to relieve the Southwest’s historic drought, but water officials say the deluge isn’t enough to reverse a drying trend that has depleted the region’s primary water sources.

Much of the West remains entrenched in a 23-year “historically unprecedented” drought driven by climate change, said Jonathan Deason, an environmental engineering professor at George Washington University.

“It’s going to take about three years of above-average rainfall to have substantial recovery,” he said.

San Diego County Water Authority Water Resources Specialist Efren Lopez joined CBS 8’s Carlo Cechetto to discuss additional ways San Diegans can reduce their water use. Photo: CBS 8 water saving tips

Water Authority Offers Water Saving Tips on CBS 8

As the current drought stretches into a third year, the San Diego County Water Authority is providing water saving tips as part of a drought survival kit to San Diegans.

Scientists confirm California and the Southwest U.S. is experiencing the worst megadrought in the last 1,200 years. It has prompted Governor Gavin Newsom to order new emergency water rules and cutbacks with the goal of preparing the state for a 10% decrease in the available water supply by 2040.

“The hots are getting a lot hotter, the dries are getting a lot drier and … the wets are getting wetter,” Newsom said in announcing the plan at a desalination plant under construction in Antioch, 45 miles inland from San Francisco, that will turn brackish water into drinking water.

Water saving tips

Many years ago, San Diego regional water leaders had the foresight to call for conservation efforts to help build our resilience. Now we are in a more fortunate position thanks to our diversified water supply than much of the state.

San Diegans have learned how to conserve water, but there is always more we can do. San Diego County Water Authority Water Resources Specialist Efren Lopez joined CBS 8 Anchor and Reporter Carlo Cecchetto on the news program “The Four” to discuss the Governor’s report and offer additional ways San Diegans can reduce water use.

Water conservation is a way of life

“San Diego’s great at conservation. Conservation is a way of life here, but there is always something more we can do,” said Lopez. He suggests homeowners use a shutoff nozzle when hand watering using their garden hose and test soil with a moisture sensor to determine when soil is dry enough before irrigating.

In addition to water-saving measures, San Diego County residents can take advantage of the Water Authority’s rebate programs for turf replacement, irrigation devices, and WaterSmart landscape gardens. Countywide, San Diegans have removed more than one million square feet of turf through rebate programs, resulting in annual water savings of 36.5 million gallons.

“In San Diego, we’ve been diversifying our water supply for decades,” said Lopez. “So we’re prepared for this drought. It’s great to see the governor supportive of resilient supplies and a portfolio approach to our water supply so that we don’t rely on just one source.”

Lopez encouraged San Diego County residents to get additional tips for saving water at

California Unveils Water Strategy, Planning for Greater Scarcity

California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new water strategy on Thursday that plans for a future with 10% less water and shifts the emphasis from conservation to capturing more water that otherwise flows out to sea.

Climate change has contributed to more severe drought but has also set the stage for more intense flooding when rain does fall, as was demonstrated last week in California’s Death Valley, one of the hottest, driest parts of the United States.

Seven Stats That Explain the West’s Epic Drought

It’s difficult to capture the scale of the drought facing the western U.S., the worst the region has seen in 1,200 years.

The dry period began around 2000 and shows no signs of slowing down, with tens of millions Americans facing shrinking reservoirs and potential power outages amid extreme heat. The most-affected area stretches from Texas to Oregon.

Bill Would Provide Relief to Farmworkers in Drought-Stricken California

About a quarter of the nation’s food is produced in California’s Central Valley. And for decades, people have come to the region to find jobs in agriculture.

State senator Melissa Hurtado says her parents immigrated there from Mexico.

“They came to the Central Valley in search of the American dream. What they had heard is that the Central Valley was the place where you can make that happen,” she says. “And this region provided that to them.”

California’s Megadrought is Worse Than You Think

When Maria Regalado Garcia tried to wash the dishes in her California home one recent morning, only a trickle of water emerged from the kitchen faucet. Other taps in her Tooleville house in rural Tulare County ran similarly dry.

The lack of water meant Garcia, 85, couldn’t brush her teeth properly or fill a swamp cooler that pumps out chilled air — a necessity with temperatures topping 100 degrees in her central California town. So Garcia fled to her granddaughter‘s home in Exeter, a few minutes away, to have a place cool enough to sleep.