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In the Wake of Fires and Floods

The image that popped up on my Twitter feed last week was beyond alarming, it was  surreal: An entire house, a big one, sliding off its foundations and floating slowly down the muddy, swollen Yellowstone River. It was such an unexpected sight, so bizarre, that I could do little more than gawk at it, mutter an expletive and scroll down to the next crazy image of disaster.

But then I read the caption, and that stopped me: This wasn’t just some random building, it was an apartment complex that housed several Yellowstone National Park employees and their families.

Under Federal Pressure, Colorado River Water Managers Face Unprecedented Call for Conservation

Colorado River water managers are facing a monumental task. Federal officials have given leaders in seven Western states a new charge — to commit to an unprecedented amount of conservation and do it before an August deadline.

Without major cutbacks in water use, the nation’s two largest reservoirs — Lake Powell and Lake Mead — are in danger of reaching critically low levels.

On June 14, Bureau of Reclamation commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton came to a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing with a prognosis, a goal and a threat.

Opinion: Why Is Almost No One Planning for a Future Without the Colorado River?

You’d think that, given how dangerously low Lake Mead is getting, we’d have a good idea of what life might look like without that water.

Yet few major players are modeling for a future without Colorado River water – or even a future in which we are asked to live on markedly less of it.

Ironically, the deeper the lake plunges, the more reluctant water managers seem to be about fleshing out the worst-case scenario.

Former Southern Nevada Water Authority Chief ‘Very Worried’ About Lake Mead Level

Lake Mead, the lifeblood of the West, is at an all-time low.

And just this week, officials said it will fall by one-third of its current level by the end of 2023.

Inch by inch, the lake is falling. We’re seeing incredible images of sunken boats now visible.

Dry as a Bone: Las Vegas Enforces New Water Restrictions

The megadrought gripping the Western United States is widening.

Fifty-seven percent of the country and 100% of Nevada is in some level of drought, and nowhere is it as obvious as along the Colorado River.

In the Southwestern U.S., the massive Lake Mead Reservoir near Las Vegas is not as massive as it used to be. The water level has dropped to near-record-low levels.

Recycling Los Angeles’ Water: We Help Them, They Help Us

A few hundred miles away from Las Vegas, what’s happening at a prototype wastewater purification plant in Southern California may increase our water supply here.

“We are designing the project to ultimately connect to what will likely be two of our water drinking facilities,” says Deven Upadhyay, the Chief Operating Officer and Assistant General Manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, that region’s equivalent to our Southern Nevada Water Authority. The Metropolitan Water District is the wholesale water provider to 26 California member agencies that service 19 million people.

Las Vegas Board Approves Grass Ban in New Developments

A Southern Nevada water board approved a pair of resolutions Monday that seek to scale back future water consumption to accommodate population growth over the next several decades.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority board of directors approved one resolution to ban the installation of grass in new developments and another that supports a moratorium on the use of thirsty cooling units for new buildings.

With The Colorado River in Crisis, Those Who Decide Its Future Gather Under One Roof

The river that supplies water to about 40 million people is getting worryingly dry. Since the federal government officially declared a water shortage this summer, the Colorado River has been thrust into national headlines, and so have the scientists and decision makers who track and shape its future.

Metropolitan Water District, Supplier of Most of Pasadena’s Water, Partners with Other Agencies to Conserve Water in Lake Mead

In response to worsening drought conditions, the board of Southern California’s regional water wholesaler and other water agencies across the Southwest have announced a partnership with the federal government to fund a short-term agricultural land fallowing program in California that will conserve water on a large scale.

The partnership among the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Central Arizona Project, Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the Palo Verde Irrigation District is expected to help conserve up to 180,000 acre-feet of water over the next three years, amounting to about a 3-feet increase in Lake Mead’s water level.

California Water Treatment Plant Could Benefit Thirsty Las Vegas

Someone drinking a glass of water in Las Vegas might one day owe a thanks to wastewater in California.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has offered to put $750 million into a $3.4 billion water treatment plant proposed for Southern California. In return, Nevada would be able to boost its yearly draw from Lake Mead by an additional 10 percent.

The new plant would produce cleaner water than current treatment facilities, allowing water agencies to wring more use from the Colorado River.