Flood plain connectivity, Rio Grande style

Through much of Albuquerque, the Rio Grande flows between levees at a grade slightly higher than the surrounding valley floor. As a result, storm water must be pumped over the levees into the river’s central channel, with a string of pumping stations and big pipe outfalls like this, on the east side of the river …

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we have a Deputy Interior Secretary nominee

McClatchy’s Stuart Leavenworth has details on the nominee to be of Deputy Interior Secretary, one of the key positions top the federal bureaucracy that helps manage western water: His name is David Longly Bernhardt, and he’s worked as the top lobbyist for California’s Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural entity of its kind in the …

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Costs, benefits of direct and indirect potable reuse

My UNM faculty colleague Caroline Scruggs and soon-to-be-graduate of both Community and Regional Planning and the Water Resources Program Jason Herman have a new paper on the costs of treating and reusing wastewater. Caroline and her students have been looking closely at the issue in the context of small inland communities, which are increasingly eyeing both …

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who’s in charge of Arizona’s Colorado River water?

The feud within Arizona over who’s in charge of the state’s Colorado River water – the state Department of Water Resources or the Central Arizona Water Conservation District – escalated this week. This is from an April 25 “cease and desist” letter (obtained by me through a state public records act request) from the Arizona …

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declining Lower Colorado River Basin water use

Amid the Colorado River water management attention last week rightly focused on the fact that a wet winter in the Upper Basin means a big release this year from Lake Powell to help refill Lake Mead, I missed another bit of business that may be even more important. The Bureau of Reclamation’s planning model is …

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words of western water

Lovely Felicity Barringer piece on our language of water. My favorite bit: In a bone-dry landscape like the Navajo reservation at the corner of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, water names proliferated. Places like Tohatchi and Toadlena, New Mexico or Tonolea, and Tolani Lakes, Arizona, begin with tó, the Navajo word for water.