water conservation

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.


Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says confronting the years-long drought gripping the West requires a heavy federal infrastructure investment to protect existing water supplies.

But she says it also depends on efforts at all levels of government to reduce demand by promoting water efficiency and recycling. Western states are experiencing the worst drought in modern history. Haaland spoke at the start of a three-day visit to Colorado that includes a visit to the Bureau of Land Management’s new headquarters in Grand Junction, established by the Trump administration in 2019.

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.

Water Conservation Measures Announced At Grand Canyon

Mar 18, 2020

Grand Canyon National Park has started water conservation measures for the South Rim and inner canyon through March 22.

Torrey House Press

An explorer who has paddled a raft on a series of rivers across the West shares his experiences and appreciation of nature in a new collection of essays. Utah-based journalist Zak Podmore’s book “Confluence” takes us on a journey on some of his recent rafting trips on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon…to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state and south to the Rio Grande along the Texas border with Mexico. Podmore will discuss his adventures in Flagstaff this weekend and he spoke with KNAU’s Steve Shadley…


Grand Canyon National Park is initiating water conservation measures on the North and South Rims starting Friday because of a pipeline break.

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.

Melissa Sevigny

Household water use has declined in the United States for the last two decades, mainly due to updated plumbing codes and more efficient toilets and dishwashers. But trading in a green lawn isn’t so easy. That’s why a lot of western cities are offering money for people to get rid of their grass.  KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports on Flagstaff’s revamped incentive program.

Melissa Sevigny

Arizona’s Verde River has a lot of competing uses: city dwellers, farmers, kayakers and environmentalists all want its water in different ways. But a new project aims to unite everyone over a glass of beer. A farm in Camp Verde has planted a crop of malt barley, to conserve water and give Arizona breweries a key ingredient to craft a truly local beer. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports. 

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

The United States and Mexico have agreed to renew and expand a far-reaching conservation agreement that governs how they manage the overused Colorado River, which supplies water to millions of people and to farms in both nations, U.S. water district officials said.