Arizona, other states propose Colorado River cuts; California pushes back

WASHINGTON - Federal officials said they will consider a plan by Arizona and five other Colorado River basin states on how to further cut water consumption, even though the biggest user in the basin - California - has not signed off on it.


This winter’s rain and snow won’t be enough to pull the West out of drought

Rain has pummeled California and the Rockies are getting heavy snows, good news for the Colorado River, which has been crippled by a historic "megadrought." But scientists say it will take much more than one wet winter to turn around the basin's fortunes.


SRP solar plant northwest of Flagstaff expected to offset 1 billion pounds of CO2 each year

FLAGSTAFF – SRP partnered with Clenera to develop the largest solar plant in Arizona. Solar and clean energy expansion in the state could lead to a low-cost carbon-free future.

SRP and Clenera will begin construction on Arizona's largest solar plan in 2023 northwest of Flagstaff. SRP has been working to expand solar, including at East Line Solar in Coolidge, shown here, which was initiated by SRP and is owned and operated by a subsidiary of AES. (Photo courtesy of SRP)

Cactus High students build a road-worthy electric vehicle

GLENDALE – As the world moves slowly away from fossil fuels, Cactus High School in Glendale is teaching automotive students how to build an electric vehicle from scratch.

Junior Ethan Lucas, left, and sophomore Aiden Bratton push an electric vehicle they’ve been building at Cactus High School in Glendale on Oct. 31, 2022. (Photo by Samantha Chow/Cronkite News)

Forest Service resumes cleanup of abandoned mines near Prescott after pause

PRESCOTT – The U.S. Forest Service this week resumed its abandoned mine cleanup project in the Cherry Creek Mining District near Prescott to protect the environment and human health.


Maricopa County’s ozone pollution is high and getting worse

PHOENIX – The EPA recently moved Phoenix up in ozone non-attainment levels, from marginal to moderate. City officials are worried they won’t meet attainment by 2024, when the restrictions get tight and some businesses may not be able to operate.

Maricopa County is failing the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest ozone standards. The EPA has has reclassified the county from marginal to moderate for non-attainment of ozone limits. (File photo by Kasey Brammell/Cronkite News)

Water reductions for the new year may be just the beginning, experts say

WASHINGTON - Few Arizona residents will notice changes in water availability in their daily lives after Jan. 1, when steep cuts are imposed on the water the state can draw from the Colorado River. But that doesn't mean they can relax, as experts expect more cuts will be needed in 2023.


Horse slaughter in Apache-Sitgreaves forest highlights friction between animal and environmental concerns

SPRINGERVILLE – Dozens of feral horses were killed in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Springerville in October. The presence of feral horses on federal land has angered scientists, hunters, government agencies and horse advocates, but all for different reasons.

Authorities are investigating the slaughter of dozens of horses in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in October. The Forest Service makes a distinction between wild horses, which are protected by law, and feral horses, which are not. (File photo by Megan Newsham/Cronkite News)

It’s electric: ADOT planning a statewide network of EV chargers along interstates

PHOENIX – Thanks to federal funding, the Arizona Department of Transportation will receive millions to upgrade existing electric vehicle chargers and install new ones along interstate highways.

More electric-vehicle charging ports will be installed along interstate highways in Arizona as early as 2024. ChargePoint already has some charging stations, similar to this one in downtown Phoenix, along several interstates. Each station will have four or more fast chargers capable of charging most vehicles in about 30 minutes. Photo taken Dec. 1, 2022. (Photo by Jennifer Sawhney/Cronkite News)

Already struggling, farmers face another challenge with diesel shortage

As if this year hasn’t been rough enough on the agriculture community, with droughts and inflation, farmers can now add "global diesel shortage" to their hardship bingo card for 2022.


HistoriCorps volunteers help preserve structures at Crescent Moon Ranch in Sedona

SEDONA – The nonprofit organization HistoriCorp partnered with Coconino National Forest to preserve historic buildings on the Crescent Moon Ranch in Sedona, founded in 1880.

HistoriCorps volunteer Yumi Shimizu, left, learns how to use a circular saw from project supervisor Pete Specht on Oct. 24, 2022, with Sedona’s Cathedral Rock as a picturesque backdrop. (Photo by Drake Presto/Cronkite News)

SRP researches cloud seeding in White Mountains to create snow amid historic drought

PHOENIX – SRP is researching cloud seeding along the Mogollon Rim as Arizona continues to struggle with its worst drought in 1,200 years. The partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe could bring Arizona its first cloud seeding operation.

A turboprop Piper PA31T Cheyenne II airplane sits in storage. These twin-engine airplanes carry both hygroscopic and glaciogenic flares to use for cloud seeding. (Photo courtesy of Gary Walker/SOAR)