drought

High Country News

The U.S. Department of the Interior says climate change is a growing threat to western water resources. A new report from the agency predicts Arizona and other states that depend on the Colorado River could face significant shortages in the coming years. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


US Department of Interior

An interactive website launched by the federal government explores 16 years of drought in the Colorado River Basin.

Arizona's new 29-member Water Augmentation Council is already drawing criticism.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that critics say Gov. Doug Ducey appointed council members that are too business-friendly.

The group was named last Wednesday and is expected to help the state cope with drought. It includes representatives from the Arizona Cattlemen's Association, the Agribusiness Council and Freeport McMoRan Inc., but environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Audubon Society are left out.

Brady Smith, U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Coconino National Forest

Current climate change models assume that trees recover swiftly after a drought ends. That’s not true, according to a new study.

Researchers examined tree-ring data from more than 1,300 sites around the world. By comparing the rings to rainfall records, they could track tree growth before, during, and after droughts.

They found most trees grow slower than normal for 1 to 4 years following a drought.

It’s called a “legacy effect,” and it hasn’t been included in climate change models.  

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Prolonged drought in the Southwest has caused a rapid drop in the water level of Lake Mead. That’s putting water supplies to some major cities in jeopardy. But it’s also exposed some of the area’s history and a long-submerged town. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

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