water shortage

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.


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River and in the country, has fallen to its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1930s. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Diminishing aquifers, drying rivers, and lingering droughts are the headlines in the West this year. Experts in science and policy say it’s urgent Arizonans plan for a future with much less water. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with John Fleck of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program about how warnings about the Colorado River’s limits have been ringing out for more than a century.   

So let’s do some history first. When did hydrologists first start warning people that the Colorado River didn’t have as much water as they wanted it to have?

National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Newly released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation project a high chance of shortages on the Colorado River within the next two years. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


File photo

Many western cities have been able to shrink their total water use in recent decades, even as their populations grew. That’s the finding of a new study published in the journal Water last week. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Brian Richter about how simple water conservation measures could be a cost-effective way to combat shortages in the Colorado River Basin.


National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

New projections from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation show the chances of future water shortages on the Colorado River have risen sharply following a dry year. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The seven states in the Colorado River Basin have declared their joint “Drought Contingency Plan” complete. They now await authorizing legislation from Congress. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its projections for water supply in the Colorado River Basin, which received a boost from recent snowstorms. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Arizona and California have missed a deadline set by the federal government for putting the final touches on their drought plans. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, the plans are meant to reduce the risks of catastrophic shortage on the Colorado River.

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