Friends of the Verde River

All kinds of labels help people make decisions these days: organic, water-smart, earth friendly, fair trade. What about a label for homes and businesses that are friendly to the local river?

That’s the idea behind the “River Friendly Living” Certification, a new program launched this year by the nonprofit group Friends of the Verde River. The certifications go to homes, businesses, farms, and ranches that have made strides to protect the region’s water supply for future generations.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

The Colorado River Basin is enduring two decades of drought, and water shortages are on the horizon. But scientists say this isn’t the worst-case scenario. The region has undergone longer, deeper droughts in the past. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with paleoclimatologist Matt Lachniet of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas about how knowing the past can help us plan for a warmer, drier future.

Bridgestone Tires

Arizona will lose 18 percent of its Colorado River water allotment next year because of a shortage declared this week. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, some Arizonans are looking ahead with concern to deeper cuts projected for the future as the river’s reservoirs continue to shrink.

National Park Service

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has declared a shortage on the Colorado River that will take effect at the start of next year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the news comes as the river’s major reservoirs drop to historically low levels. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Navajo Nation on Wednesday reported 49 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths.

The latest numbers pushed the tribe’s pandemic totals to 31,715 cases and 1,386 known deaths.

Health officials reported no deaths and only a handful of cases from Aug. 1-8 on the reservation that is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) and covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

National Park Service

Lake Powell on the Colorado River is at historically low levels. All but three of its boat ramps are stranded above the waterline. The National Park Service is fighting to maintain access to the reservoir for recreational boaters… with the help of an old “legacy” ramp that’s been underwater for half a century. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with William Shott, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Salt River Project

Winter runoff into the Salt and Verde rivers was the second driest in more than one hundred years of recordkeeping. But the reservoirs that serve the Phoenix area are still two-thirds full. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Salt River Project spokesperson Christa McJunkin about the city’s water supply, which comes from the Salt, Verde, and Colorado rivers and from groundwater.

Coconino National Forest

Heavy rain this weekend led to flash flood warnings across much of Northern Arizona, especially in areas with recent wildfire scars. The close links between fire and flood concern water managers in the Phoenix Valley, who rely on the Salt and Verde watersheds for drinking water supplies. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Salt River Project spokesperson Elvy Barton about why the utility is getting involved in forest restoration.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Lake Powell on the Colorado River is expected to drop to a record-breaking new low in the next day or two. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the reservoir will reach its lowest elevation since it was first filled.

Morning Rundown: Wednesday, July 21

Jul 21, 2021

It’s Wednesday, July 21. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for a majority of Ariz. counties, including Coconino County at the Grand Canyon and southward, along with parts of Navajo, Apache, Gila and Yavapai counties. The watch applies to communities including Winslow, Prescott, and Dilkon beginning Thursday morning and ending Saturday evening.


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