AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

As several states in the American West face intense drought, water managers say it's shaping up to be a very difficult year for New Mexico farmers because of limited irrigation supplies. 



Nearly a third of the people on the Navajo Nation lack running water – it’s a reality that’s complicated daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tribal members, many of them women, have taken it upon themselves to expand access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Now, a new microgrant program seeks to support those grassroots efforts. The Water Is Life Fund is a partnership between the Kohler plumbing company and the nonprofit Dig Deep’s Navajo Water Project and will distribute grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to local projects. Katie Janss is the research manager for the Navajo Water Project and spoke with KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

A recent report from Colorado River experts says it’s time for radical new management strategies to safeguard the Southwest’s water supplies. It’s meant to inform discussions on how to renegotiate certain parts of the Law of the River that will expire in 2026. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke about the report with Jack Schmidt, director of the Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University.

Melissa Sevigny

The state of Arizona is writing new clean water rules for streams and rivers, following a rollback of federal protections last year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the proposed legislation is supported by business, farm, and mining groups but opposed by environmentalists.

Verde River Institute

A bill signed by Governor Doug Ducey last week allows Arizona farmers, ranchers, and other water users to leave water in rivers and streams without the risk of losing their rights to it. The new law modifies a water policy called “use it or lose it” which has been a longstanding roadblock in conservation. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke about the change with Kim Mitchell of Western Resource Advocates.