the federal role in water infrastructure

There are several federal programs with a demonstrated success in making infrastructure-related investments that support sustainable water use, healthy rivers and facilitate much-needed public-private partnerships. These include WaterSMART at the Department of the Interior; the Rural Utilities Service program at the Department of Agriculture; and the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds at …

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Why should I conserve just so those other guys can have the water?

This story is a bit of a garble, but it illustrates one of the central challenges in making water conservation deals in the Colorado River Basin. Here’s how I explained it in my book: Within the network of state and water-agency representatives working on Colorado River Basin problems, there is a clear recognition that eventually …

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World Water Day on the shores of old Lake Bonneville

Flying into Salt Lake City this afternoon, I noticed the old shoreline benches of Lake Bonneville, the great Pleistocene inland sea that once filled a big chunk of what we now call the Great Basin. The benches are these big flat topographic features a few hundred feet above the valley floor. One one, south of …

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don’t let the dry March overshadow the good news for Lake Mead

Chris Harris, the new executive director of the Colorado River Board of California (just named to the job Wednesday, congratulations, Chris!) made a point in the comments of this post that’s worth highlighting. While the dry March in the Upper Colorado River Basin has eating into the runoff forecast, likely eliminating the chance of a …

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Sally Jewell’s post-cabinet road trip is the best thing on the Internet

I always figured Sally Jewell, who until January was the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, had the best job. If you followed her on social media, you’d see her visiting cool places, hiking around, looking at stuff. I realize being Secretary of the Interior has some hard bits, too, involving meetings and policy and big …

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US-Mexico water sharing deal is sparing Colorado River users from shortage

In my book, I focused a great deal on the environmental and cultural benefits of the “pulse flow” through the Colorado River Delta, enabled by a 2012 agreement between the United States and Mexico. It was a shiny bauble, but there’s a lot more to the agreement than that. Most important from the perspective of …

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