Sustainability

Plumbing the Rockies: Vast infrastructure gets water where it’s needed

In Colorado, most of the water is in the western part of the state, but 80% of residents live east of the Rocky Mountains. A complex network of tunnels and canals supplies those cities, but is that system still viable in a warming, drying West?


Hydropower worries grow as Colorado River reservoirs continue to dry up

Water to drink also is water for power production, and planners are worried as the current megadrought in the Colorado River Basin strains the operation of Lake Powell’s Glen Canyon Dam.


Colorado River Basin reservoirs begin emergency releases to prop up a troubled Lake Powell

Emergency water releases from reservoirs upstream of Lake Powell began Thursday to preserve its ability to generate hydroelectric power.


Hiking trails on Piestewa, Camelback will close during extreme heat

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board approved a pilot program which restricts access to hiking trails from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days when an excessive heat watch is in place.


Lucky sucker: Endangered fish’s status improving; critics not so sure

WASHINGTON - Federal officials said the endangered razorback sucker has made enough of a comeback that it is time for the status of the Colorado River fish to be upgraded from endangered to threatened.


Drier springs produce hotter summers in the withering Southwest, study says

Warmer air holds more moisture, but over the past decades in the U.S. Southwest, humidity has decreased as temperatures have risen, which robs soil of its moisture. A new study by UCLA researchers paints a grim picture for the future.


‘You feel like you can’t get a break’: The Colorado River struggles to water the West after two decades of drought

After another dry year, the waterway that supplies 40 million people is parched as climate change upends the water cycle in the Southwest. Scientists say the only way forward is to rein in demands on the 1,450-mile long Colorado River’s water to match its decline.


Black-footed ferret on the way back, but hurdles remain, experts say

WASHINGTON - Federal officials want to greatly expand habitats for black-footed ferrets in Arizona and possibly into neighboring states, but the endangered animal, once thought extinct, still faces several hurdles, experts say.


Traffic stop: Commuting times, costs fell sharply during pandemic year

WASHINGTON - The COVID-19 pandemic led to sharp drops in commuting last year, with cities in Arizona and across the U.S. seeing drops of 50% or more in the number of hours and dollars they wasted, and the gallons of gas burned, while stuck in traffic, a new report shows.


After the flames: Santa Catalina Mountains rebounding from Bighorn Fire a year ago

TUCSON – A year later, plants and wildlife are returning to the Santa Catalina Mountains after one of the state’s largest wildfires destroyed nearly 120,000 acres.


AZ goes EV: Rate of electric car ownership relatively high in Arizona

WASHINGTON - Arizona had 28,770 registered electric vehicles in June, government data shows, the seventh-highest number among states. When ownership is measured per 1,000 residents, Arizona inches up a notch to sixth place, with just over four EVs per 1,000 people.


Fireworks still on tap despite ‘crazy hot, potentially dry’ July 4th

WASHINGTON - With the pandemic winding down, cities and towns across the state are looking toward a more typical Fourth of July this year - and typical in Arizona means balancing the desire for fireworks against the potential for wildfire.