water

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.


Randall Babb / Arizona Game and Fish Department

Endangered fish in the Colorado River face multiple threats. Their survival is linked to the river’s temperature, which is altered both by climate change and by dams. A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey modeled those temperature changes and imagined a future in which water storage is either mostly in Lake Powell or mostly in Lake Mead. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with lead author Kimberly Dibble about what those different scenarios mean for native fish.


Arizona’s high country has seen some recent snowfall with more on the way. But much of the state remains in “exceptional” drought status. That’s been hard on wildlife. Natural ponds and stock tanks have dried up. A nonprofit group of hunters and conservationists is trying to help by refilling those watering holes for the benefit of elk and other animals. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Steve Clark, executive director of the Arizona Elk Society, about the program.

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.


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