Water

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An oil well in northern Utah
Eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin has more than 10,000 active oil and gas wells. Local environmentalists have dubbed it Mordor — a grim reference to “The Lord of the Rings.” The sparsely populated area has air quality as poor as Beijing.
Aug. 16, 2023
Lake Powell
The Bureau of Reclamation has released its annual operating conditions report for Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which offered a mixed assessment of the Colorado River.
Aug. 15, 2023
Colorado River in Colorado's high country
Plentiful snow and rain last winter helped to pull many of the states in the region out of drought and raised levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell. However, challenges of overuse remain. Lake Powell is still only about 39% full, and Lake Mead is at about 33%.
Aug. 15, 2023
Close up of a bale of hay
Reports of Saudi-owned companies operating farms in western Arizona and pumping groundwater to grow alfalfa, which is then exported out of the country have led some state officials to start investigating. But a new investigation finds in at least one instance, it was the state of Arizona itself that helped finance this kind of operation, in the form of the Arizona State Retirement System.
Aug. 15, 2023
Tempe Town Lake
In 2018, six cities and two tribes started an initiative to revitalize roughly 58 miles alongside the Rio Salado. One key position for getting that initiative off the ground has now been filled.
Aug. 11, 2023
The Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed environmental rule changes for Roosevelt Lake, including increasing the time the lake can be full from 20 days to 100 days.
Aug. 8, 2023
Tempe is inviting residents and business owners to learn how the city is addressing the opioid crisis.
Aug. 8, 2023
housing construction
The Show spoke with Paula Randolph, associate director of the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy at the Lincoln Institute, about issues around pausing certificates for new development in Arizona amid an affordable housing crisis.
Aug. 8, 2023
roosevelt dam
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take public comments on a proposed amendment to environmental rules governing the operation of Roosevelt Dam.
Aug. 7, 2023
About three-fourths of Arizona’s water supply goes to agriculture, and policy makers say the state needs to address that fact as it confronts a shrinking Colorado River. That's why a University of Arizona program is helping farmers use water more efficiently.
Aug. 2, 2023
Houseboats on Lake Powell at Bullfrog Marina
The Thirst Gap podcast continues with Episode 3, which looks at changes to recreation at the country's second-biggest reservoir, Lake Powell.
Jul. 27, 2023
signs says welcome to mesa
Construction began this week on a new 10.5-mile water pipeline in Mesa. It’s part of an agreement between the city and the Gila River Indian Community that allows reclaimed water to be exchanged for Colorado River rights.
Jul. 26, 2023
washing hands with water
The Show spoke with Rhett Larson, professor of water law at ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and senior research fellow at the Kyl Center for Water Policy, about his concerns with the issue of wildcat subdivisions.
Jul. 25, 2023
Less than a year ago, voters in Douglas approved a ballot initiative to create stricter groundwater regulations through what’s called an Active Management Area. At least for now, it will remain in place after county officials threw out a separate initiative to eliminate the AMA.
Jul. 24, 2023
Cactus in the foreground with a windmill in the background.
Arizona's rural communities rely on groundwater, which experts say is a finite resource. But in most cases, it’s not regulated in any meaningful way, and the Legislature doesn't take up groundwater bills.
More stories about Arizona's water issues
Jul. 24, 2023
People sit and stand inside a fire station
The Rio Verde Foothills Standpipe District was created by an emergency state law to represent the unincorporated community’s water interests. Members said they planned to speak with utility Epcor to find a long-term water solution.
Jul. 21, 2023
A cup of water filled with ice.
Many restaurants provide free glasses of water upon request. But are they required to by law? That’s what one listener asked through KJZZ's Q&AZ reporting project.
More Q&AZ questions answered
Jul. 20, 2023
downtown tucson
More funding is on the way for cleaning up PFAS. That’s the group of human-made chemicals used in a wide range of products that’s now being found in drinking water. PFAS have been found in air, soil and water around the world.
Jul. 20, 2023
View of the Colorado River from the Historic Navajo Bridge
In the next episode in Luke Runyon of KUNC's podcast, Thirst Gap, he tackles how much water from the Colorado River agriculture uses.
Jul. 20, 2023
A sprinkler over green grass.
It took more than five years to negotiate the $24 million agreement, and the town is continuing to work to secure additional water supplies.
Jul. 19, 2023

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