Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Grand Canyon National Park has issued five warnings this year about water shortages due to pipeline breaks. That means so far, it’s actually been a good year for the aging water system that park officials are dying to replace. 

Imagine hiking in the Grand Canyon and seeing a geyser. There are no natural geysers at Grand Canyon. But up to 25 times a year, the pipes break that carry water from the Inner Canyon to the rims.

Shelley Smithson

After a heated day-long meeting today, The Hopi Tribal council has voted to halt negotiations on a controversial water bill.

The 11-4 vote endorsed a resolution brought forth by former Hopi leaders. 

The leaders objected to the bill by Arizona’s U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl that would have settled Hopi claims to the Little Colorado River in exchange for water development projects.

Former Chairman Ivan Sidney declared that Kyl’s bill is now dead, because without all parties agreeing to the water settlement, Kyl has said he won’t move it forward in Congress.

Tombstone Strikes Out Again

Jun 5, 2012

Tombstone struck out again today in its bid to get the U.S. Supreme Court to intercede in its fight with the Forest Service. 

US High Court Refuses to Hear Tombstone Water Case

Jun 1, 2012

The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a bid by the city of Tombstone for an emergency order allowing it to immediately repair its damaged water supply in the Huachuca Mountains. 

Anne Minard / KNAU

The San Francisco Peaks appear to be as parched as the surrounding high desert landscape.

It may surprise some people that there are springs hidden in the forests throughout the small mountain range.

And in theory, there’s plenty of water for the animals that make a home in the Peaks, and perhaps even for the people who visit.

The biggest of these, Leroux Spring, has appeared bone dry for almost a century because its water has been diverted for other uses.

Shelley Smithson

Protesters held up signs and booed as Arizona  Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain visited Tuba City Thursday.

The senators were in Tuba City to discuss details of their water settlement bill with Navajo and Hopi officials.  

The $300 million bill would cede the tribe’s claims to the Little Colorado River in exchange for three water development projects in reservation communities where many lack running water.

But the bill is unpopular with many, even those who live in communities that would get drinking water.

The Hopi Tribe is seeking $20 million from the federal government to clean up arsenic in drinking water.

In the Hopi communities of First and Second Mesa, naturally occurring arsenic levels in drinking water exceed federal limits by as much as  four times.

Arsenic has been linked to cancers and circulatory problems.

Hopi water director Lionel Puhuyesva says  the tribe decided to sue the government, rather than ask Congress for money.

A coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation may be forced to increase water rates to afford required federal pollution controls.

Initially the utility that runs the Navajo Generating Station thought it might have to shut down. But a new Interior Department study says it has another option. The Generating Station could remain open if it raises water rates for agricultural users and tribes by up to 16 percent.

Claudine LoMonaco

Larry Stevens is an evolutionary biologist. For the last 41 years, he’s dedicated much of his life to the study and salvation of springs, little spots where water bubbles out of the earth.

Stevens stands in huge alcove carved out of a sandstone cliff on a remoter trail in Grand Canyon National Park. He holds a measuring cup under a stream of water that drips from a cluster of bright green ferns.

“Dripping Springs is a fairly small spring,” Stevens says. “We’re looking at half a gallon a minute of flow.”