Arizona Sustainability News

Blackout during Phoenix heat wave could kill thousands
A multiday power outage during a heat wave could kill almost 13,000 Phoenicians and leave half the population vying for the city’s 3,000 emergency room beds due to heat stroke or other heat-related illnesses.
More Arizona science news
Rebar is out, fiber is in: Valley Metro finishes light rail slabs for latest extension
Light rail extensions disrupt business and traffic. Using steel rods to reinforce concrete beneath the tracks further slows the process while raising sustainability and worker safety concerns. So Valley Metro used an alternative on its current northwest extension.
More Arizona science news
May. 25, 2023
IndyCar Series testing out a new sustainable racecar tire rubber made in AZ
The IndyCar Series is experimenting in slower speed races with a highly sustainable new tire whose production leaves a relatively small carbon footprint. The Show trekked out to Eloy and rural Mesa to see how this tire is made.
May. 25, 2023
AZ, neighboring states reached historic deal to protect future of Colorado River
The Show spoke with Luke Runyon, who covers the Colorado River for KUNC in Colorado about what the future of the Colorado River means for all of us who live in these states.
May. 22, 2023
Paper prescribes mindfulness for scientists facing burnout
During the pandemic, health officials encouraged people to send up a flare when burnout and hopelessness were becoming too much. Recently, scientists facing other, more persistent crises – climate change and biodiversity loss – did exactly that.
May. 18, 2023
U.S. greenlights major transmission line for renewable energy in West
The U.S. government is greenlighting a proposed multibillion-dollar transmission line that would send primarily wind-generated electricity from the rural plains of New Mexico to big cities in the West.
May. 18, 2023
Restrictions and emerging contaminants add to challenges of Arizona water treatment
Contaminants pose threats to Arizona's increasingly precious supply of drinking water. Treatment plants can catch and remove a lot of those contaminants. But how strong is that safety net — and the regulations that knit it together?
More Arizona water news
May. 16, 2023
The quality — not just quantity — of Arizonas water is a concern. And the list of threats is long
Policy makers are continually grappling with the challenge of a smaller share of the Colorado River to supply a rapidly growing population. But as quantity becomes a bigger concern, so too does quality — and the threats posed by pollutants.
More Arizona water news
May. 15, 2023
This Grand Canyon pipeline is getting a $200M upgrade
The Show spoke with Laura Crossey, Ph.D., a professor at the University of New Mexico who specializes in groundwater research, about the project, and the state of the Grand Canyon’s water supply.
May. 15, 2023
As the planet warms, desert plants may have a tough time adapting
One might think that plants that thrive in the Sonoran Desert and nearby ecosystems would be well suited for climate change, but researchers found they have had difficulty adapting to a warmer planet.
May. 10, 2023
AZ, NM receive $23M from Forest Service to maintain great outdoors
The U.S. Forest Service has announced it will spend more than $23 million on a backlog of maintenance projects in Arizona and New Mexico. The funding will support 27 projects across the two states, including visitor access, land and water conservation, and recreation infrastructure.
May. 12, 2023
Will other small Arizona communities face the same water problems as Rio Verde Foothills?
Many Arizonans are concerned about the future availability of water. But in the community of Rio Verde Foothills, just outside of Scottsdale, the taps have already run dry. What’s the likelihood of other developments running into the same problem?
More Arizona water news
May. 8, 2023
UA and Bridgestone partner to create a new sustainable rubber
The University of Arizona is launching a five-year project to develop a new variety of natural rubber. The goal is to expand natural rubber production in the Southwest and offer a solution for growers amid the ongoing water crisis.
May. 8, 2023
Artist uses invasive plants found at the bottom of a basin
Saguaro Land is a series from The Show looking at the Sonoran Desert — the lushest, hottest desert in the world that happens to be our home. The Show spoke with an artist who transforms invasive plants into art.
May. 4, 2023
How reliable is cloud seeding to reduce AZs water woes?
As efforts to conserve the region’s most precious resource continue, agencies like Central Arizona Project fund cloud seeding projects in upper Colorado basin states with the goal of increasing snowpack that will melt into the Colorado River and flow into the Grand Canyon state.
Apr. 28, 2023
$5M to go to Buckeye Water Conservation and Drainage District
A new bipartisan infrastructure deal includes funding for water conservation efforts across the West. More than $11 million will go to five specific projects in Arizona.
Apr. 28, 2023
Phoenix expected to hit 100 degrees this weekend
The Valley is heating up and is expected to hit the first 100-degree mark this year by this weekend.
Apr. 27, 2023
New rules for fishermen after New Zealand mudsnail infestation
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have added Canyon Creek in northern Arizona to its list of Aquatic Invasive Species Affected Waters. As a result, anglers and others who recreate there face new directives.
Apr. 25, 2023
‘Crustivoltaics’ could restore vital ecosystems, benefit solar farms
A new proof-of-concept study in Nature Sustainability uses local solar farms to restore vital ecosystems called biocrusts. The low-cost approach can benefit solar farms by reducing dust on panels and potentially qualifying the farms for carbon credits.
Apr. 21, 2023
USDA invests $1.9M to bring energy to 100 rural Arizona homes
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested $1.9 million to bring sustainable energy to underserved areas of northeast Arizona. The grant is part of the Biden administration’s Rural Energy Pilot Program, which bolsters renewable energy use in rural areas to reduce energy costs and pollution.
Apr. 12, 2023
Glendales Water Awareness Day educates about conservation
Despite a healthy amount of rain and snow in the state, Arizona remains in a near 25-year drought. A free event in the Valley that focuses on conservation methods for the region’s most important natural resource happens Saturday.
Apr. 14, 2023