Gavin Newsom Extends Drought State of Emergency in California

Gavin Newsom Extends Drought State of Emergency in California

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he would extend the drought emergency statewide and issued an executive order to have residents conserve water. As part of this effort, eight new counties were added to the state of emergency, and authorized the State Water Resources Control Board was authorized to […]

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Lake Powell’s Record Low Water Levels Threaten Power for Millions

Lake Powell’s Record Low Water Levels Threaten Power for Millions

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In August, the federal government declared the first-ever water shortage along the Colorado River as drought pushed its largest reservoir, Lake Mead, to record lows. Now, that shortage is threatening the power supply of 5.8 million homes and businesses and water levels at the nation’s second largest reservoir, Lake […]

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DOE Announces Climate Observatory on Drought-Stricken Colorado River

DOE Announces Climate Observatory on Drought-Stricken Colorado River

By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Just over a week after the federal government declared a water shortage on the Colorado River, which supplies 40 million people with water, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) announced Tuesday that it would be opening a new climate observatory at the river’s headwaters. The project’s scientists hope to predict rain and snowfall […]

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California Declares Supply Alert, Restricting Water Use in the Region

California Declares Supply Alert, Restricting Water Use in the Region

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a supply alert — a request for the region to cut water use and prepare for this historic drought to continue. According to the supply alert, citizens of Southern California must voluntarily reduce their water consumption so that the region’s storage reserves remain […]

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“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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