“Megadrought” Takes Lake Mead to an All-Time Low

“Megadrought” Takes Lake Mead to an All-Time Low

The nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, has reached record lows (at only 36% full) in the face of a severe drought sweeping the western U.S. The reservoir supplies drinking water for 25 million people in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and more.

Why This Matters: Drought is becoming a permanent fixture across the west, and dry conditions are moving further east each year. 

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As Colorado River Dries, New Questions about Water Management Arise

As Colorado River Dries, New Questions about Water Management Arise

For twenty years, conditions across the Colorado River Basin have worsened as temperatures rose due to climate change.  In 2020, unrelenting heat and super dry conditions left the soil extremely parched, rivers and streams running low, and reservoirs in the region well below capacity.

Why this Matters: Research suggests that the river could lose 1/4 of its flow by 2050 as the climate continues to heat up.

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Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

Mexican Protests Over Water Treaty With U.S. Turn Violent

The Guardian reports that farmers in the Chihuahua region of Mexico are violently protesting their government’s exports of water to the U.S. in the midst of a major drought there.  The protests have been going on for months — they even took over the La Boquilla dam — and the government responded by calling in their national guard to quell them.

Why this Matters: The climate crisis has been worsening droughts in both Mexico and the US, causing water to become an increasingly contested resource.

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What Snow Droughts Will Mean for Western States

What Snow Droughts Will Mean for Western States

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Recent research in Geophysical Research Letters has revealed that “back-to-back bad snow years are likely to become much more frequent in the not-too-distant future,” Alejandra Borunda reported in National Geographic this month. There is now approximately a 7% chance that typically snow-filled regions in the Western US will “get […]

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Beach Battles Loom in CA and FL As Temps Rise, So Does Dust From CA’s Salton Sea

Beach Battles Loom in CA and FL As Temps Rise, So Does Dust From CA’s Salton Sea

Unusually high heat has struck Florida and the Gulf Coast just as cities across the state are struggling to keep their beaches from becoming overcrowded due to the summertime temps, and the Governor weights opening up the state again In California, record heat over the weekend, with temperatures pushing 100 degrees and many lacking proper air conditioning. 

Why This Matters:  The hot summer-like temps in SoCal and Florida are not making it easy for local officials trying to keep people safe during the shelter in place orders.

 

 

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Governors Working Together On Environmental Challenges Is Nothing New

Governors Working Together On Environmental Challenges Is Nothing New

As we reported yesterday, the Governors in several regions of the country have teamed up to fight the coronavirus within their respective areas — but regional agreements between Governors are nothing new in the world of conservation and the environment because pollution, just like a virus, does not respect state boundaries.

Why This Matters:  Governors working together to fight the coronavirus and its impacts through regional cooperation arrangements may prove to be a way that President Trump fixed the government by breaking it.

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