Kaibab National Forest / USDA Forest Service

Climate change has already begun to harm communities in the Southwest with warmer temperatures, bigger wildfires, and diminishing water supplies. Indigenous communities are especially at risk. That’s one conclusion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published by the federal government last month. More than 300 experts contributed to the report, including Northern Arizona University forester Nikki Cooley, a member of the Navajo Nation. She spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Representatives of the seven Colorado River Basin states meet today at a conference in Las Vegas to discuss the details of a long-awaited plan for dealing with drought. Cities, farms, and tribal nations are negotiating voluntary cutbacks in water use to reduce the risk of Lake Mead falling to catastrophically low levels. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with one of the conference moderators, John Fleck, a water expert from the University of New Mexico, about why this “Drought Contingency Plan” is needed.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

National climate experts have been watching and waiting but El Nino has only been teasing, leaving the American Southwest to hang on longer until the weather pattern develops and brings more moisture to the drought-stricken region.

A major Colorado River water user has proposed an interim plan for Arizona as it faces looming deadlines to manage expected shortages.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

A new study says endangered razorback suckers upstream of Lake Powell may struggle to migrate up the San Juan River to spawn. The fish are blocked by a waterfall that formed two decades ago when the river changed its course. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.