Arizona Sustainability News

Colorado River Basin’s Worsening Dryness In 5 Numbers
Things are very dry in the Colorado River Basin already this year. And the situation could get much worse for the water that 40 million people across seven western states rely on. Here's the current drought conditions in five numbers.
Feb. 2, 2021
Upper Basin States Activate Colorado River Drought Plan
Last week, dry conditions activated a 2019 drought plan for the first time in the upper reaches of the Colorado River basin, forcing states and the region to plan for an even drier future. The Show spoke with KUNC's Luke Runyon, who covers the Colorado River basin, for more on the situation.
Jan. 26, 2021
Why Renewable Energy Projects Could Threaten Tribal Lands
President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office tomorrow in Washington, D.C. With that comes a lot of expectations from interested parties around the country — including tribes.
Jan. 19, 2021
Sonoran Desalination Plant Nearly 80% Complete
A desalination plant in neighboring Sonora, Mexico is nearing completion, more than two years after construction began. The plant is designed to use reverse osmosis to remove salt from sea water and provide up to 200 liters per second of drinking water.
Jan. 18, 2021
Maricopa Native Seed Library Aims To Preserve Desert Plants
When we think about nature, a lot of us probably think about going out into the wilderness, hitting a hiking trail, maybe seeing a national park. But for Danielle Carlock, nature can, and should, be something we experience all around us — even in our yards or on a windowsill. Carlock is a librarian at Scottsdale Community College by trade, but her most recent project involves a different kind of library — a seed library.
Jan. 18, 2021
Biden Expected To Reverse Course On Public Lands
President-elect Joe Biden's choice of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior is an indication of how public lands — including Bears Ears National Monument and Chaco Canyon — will be managed in the new administration.
Jan. 18, 2021
Apaches Object To Forest Service Review Of Copper Mine
Attorney Michael Nixon said the Forest Service has pledged not to transfer Oak Flat to a copper mining company until the very end of a 60-day window that began Friday with the release of an environmental review.
Jan. 17, 2021
Navajo Nation Appoints New EPA Executive Director
The Navajo Nation has appointed Valinda Shirley to head its Environmental Protection Agency. The position is an important one, because there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the reservation.
Jan. 6, 2021
Farmers Reduce Water Usage, Improve Colorado River Water Quality
The Colorado River and its tributaries irrigate some of the country’s most productive farmland, in Western Colorado. But agriculture in this arid region is made more difficult by its salty soil, and old-school irrigation methods that send harmful minerals into streams.
Jan. 5, 2021
When Wildfire Burns A High Mountain Forest, What Happens To The Snow?
Record-breaking wildfires in 2020 turned huge swaths of Western forests into barren burn scars. Those forests store winter snowpack that millions of people rely on for drinking and irrigation water. But with such large fires, the effects to the region’s water supplies aren't well understood.
Jan. 4, 2021
Over millions of years, the living creatures that call the Colorado River river home have adapted to its natural variability of seasonal highs and lows. But for the last century, they have struggled to keep up with rapid change in the river’s flows and ecology.
Dec. 29, 2020
Tonto Forest Cancels Christmas Tree Burning Event
Last year, more than 8,000 people showed up to burn their Christmas trees at an annual event in the Tonto National Forest. This year, safety concerns led organizers to cancel it.
Dec. 28, 2020
Captive-Born Wolves Found In Wild Packs In AZ
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says it has radio collared several wolf pups that were born in captivity and added to wild packs.
Dec. 25, 2020
SRP Reservoirs Still Full Despite Exceptional Drought
This year brought the hottest and driest summer in history to Arizona. That left the entire state in a drought, but the largest water supplier to the Phoenix area says its reservoirs are still in good shape.
Dec. 25, 2020
Pandemic Compounding Plastic Waste Problem As U.S. Seeks New Ways To Dispose Of It
Two years ago, China stopped accepting plastic waste from the United States when a 25-year agreement ended. This left the country scrambling to find new ways to dispose of polymer trash. The onset of COVID-19 has compounded the problem.
Dec. 24, 2020
SRP Completes Latest Phase Of Solar Project
Intel will use solar power from a Salt River Project plant in Coolidge. The semiconductor manufacturer is one of several Valley companies to take advantage of a new program.
Dec. 21, 2020
Hopi Tribe Faces Challenges In Accessing Clean Water
Clean water is one of the basic tools of human survival, and a huge percentage of us have easy access to it whenever we want. That hasn’t applied to members of the Hopi Tribe, many of whom have to drive miles to wells and then load up their vehicles to bring the water back home.
Dec. 15, 2020
Excitement Wanes As Great American Outdoors Act Faces Roadblocks
Recent moves by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt are being seen as roadblocks by a number of environmental groups — and labeled as inconsistent, considering what the Great American Outdoors Act was expected to lead to.
Dec. 9, 2020
Many In Hermosillo Reimagine A Greener City
Facing rising temperatures and urban sprawl, many people in Hermosillo, the capital of neighboring Sonora, Mexico, are turning to greening projects to make their city a more beautiful, enjoyable place to live.
Dec. 8, 2020
Colorado River Tribes Want To Lease Water For Non-Tribal Use
The Colorado River Indian Tribes on the western edge of Arizona have the largest share of first-priority Colorado River water rights in the state. Now, the tribal council is proposing to lease some of its water for non-tribal use.
Nov. 30, 2020