May 24, 2023
Thought Question: What are some simple ways you can reduce your water use every day?
After months of talks, three states that rely on the Colorado River agreed on Monday on how to share its decreasing water.
California, Arizona, and Nevada have plans to save up to 3 million acre-feet of water by 2026. The Biden administration has promised these states over a billion dollars in federal money. This money will help reduce the impact of water limits. But they will only get the money if they use less water.
The deal says that the three states will divide 7.5 million acre-feet of water over the next three years. That's about 35% less than they have used before. California will get the most. However, it also said it would give up more.
An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons of water. That's the amount of water that two or three homes might use in a year.
Over 40 million people use water from the river. In the past 20 years, it has shrunk by as much as 20%. This is mainly from drought and overuse. The water use limits are less than what the government said would help the river recover. But state leaders are still hopeful.
The governor of California said that the agreement will allow millions of people to maintain their water supply. Arizona's governor added, “We now have a path forward to build our reservoirs back up in the near-term.”
This video game-like interactive map lets students place a "raindrop" anywhere on Earth to see where the water will end up.
As Seagrass Habitats Decline, Florida Manatees are Dying of Starvation
This NPR article and short podcast discuss the poor health of the Indian River Lagoon in Florida and the declining local manatee population.
A River Ran Through It: How a Changing Climate Is Impacting US River Systems
This short article discusses various climate change impacts on river systems in the United States and the resulting issues related to drinking water, pollution, energy production, and recreation.