Tucson Offers to Leave More CAP Water in the Colorado River

Tucson Water is offering to leave “significant volumes” of its annual Central Arizona Project water supply in the Colorado River for the next three years in return for financial compensation from the federal government. But its letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation making that offer didn’t propose a cut to the city’s annual CAP allocation.

IID Approves Possible $250 Million Salton Sea Deal With Feds, State

Southern California’s powerful Imperial Irrigation District voted late Tuesday 3-2 to ink an agreement with federal and state officials that could yield as much as $250 million for Salton Sea restoration projects in exchange for not using another 250,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water. An acre-foot is enough to supply about two households.

Drying California Lake to Get $250M in US Drought Funding

The federal government said Monday it will spend $250 million over four years on environmental cleanup and restoration work around a drying Southern California lake that’s fed by the depleted Colorado River. The future of the Salton Sea, and who is financially responsible for it, has been a key issue in discussions over how to prevent a crisis in the Colorado River.

A Century Ago, This Water Agreement Changed the West. Now, the Region is in Crisis

The Colorado River has long been regarded as the “lifeline of the Southwest.” It supplies water to 40 million people in seven states, 29 Native American tribes and parts of Mexico. Farmers use it to irrigate nearly 5.5 million acres of agricultural land. One hundred years ago this month, the signing of the Colorado River Compact laid the foundation for how water from the river is used today.

Colorado River Users, Facing Historic Uncertainty, Are Set to Meet in Las Vegas Next Month

As Colorado River water users prepare to meet in Las Vegas next month, the reality they face is one of growing uncertainty with few simple options left on the negotiating table. The math is well understood: There are more demands for the river than there is water coming into its reservoirs. But cutting back at the scale necessary — and on a voluntary basis — has proven painstakingly difficult this year as top officials from across the Colorado River watershed have failed to reach a settlement.

Opinion: Can the Mississippi Learn From the Colorado’s Failure?

The entire Mississippi River basin is experiencing drought conditions that are being compared to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. The scenes — from exposed shipwrecks to sand dunes cropping up where the river used to flow — are surreal, and people from New Orleans to the Upper Midwest are getting nervous.

Snowpack Off to a Good Start Across Colorado River Basin

About 60% percent of the Colorado River starts as snow in Colorado. That’s a water lifeline for more than 40 million people from Wyoming to Mexico. This year’s snowpack is off to a good start, but the basin would need years of back-to-back wet conditions to help erase drought.

As the Colorado River is Stretched Thin by Drought, Can the 100-Year-Old Rules That Divide It Still Work?

Cowboy Michael Klaren heaved hay bales onto his wagon, climbed aboard and urged his two workhorses to drag it across a meadow, the ground spongy with the meltwater from a snowstorm. Wet boots had raised his spirits on this March morning, as had two wet cow dogs he called Woodrow and Gus. The meadow was off to a more promising head start on spring than he had come to expect after years of drought.

Western US Cities to Remove Decorative Grass Amid Drought

A group of 30 agencies that supply water to homes and businesses throughout the western United States has pledged to rip up lots of decorative grass to help keep water in the over-tapped Colorado River. The agreement signed Tuesday by water agencies in Southern California, Phoenix and Salt Lake City and elsewhere illustrates an accelerating shift in the American West away from well-manicured grass that has long been a totem of suburban life, having taken root alongside streets, around fountains and between office park walkways.

In Arizona, One Utility Has a Front Row Seat to Colorado River Crisis

Tobyn Pilot took a few crunchy footsteps through the rough red dirt near the edge of a towering cliff. Pilot, an operator at the water plant in Page, Arizona, pulled out a hefty collection of keys and unlocked a tiny plywood-paneled shed just a few feet from the brink. The building is barely bigger than an outhouse, but it’s a pivotal part of keeping the taps flowing.