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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to congress. Also on our rundown: more evidence that the rent is too, damn, high; Marathon County braces for sulfide mining; and the focus on recycling this weekend for Earth Day in North Dakota.

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More Official Confirmation of the Drought

PHOTO: Gregory Butte, as seen from Lake Powell. The lake is as popular as a summer boating destination as it is a water source for the Southwest. Photo credit: Bob Moffitt, National Park Service.
PHOTO: Gregory Butte, as seen from Lake Powell. The lake is as popular as a summer boating destination as it is a water source for the Southwest. Photo credit: Bob Moffitt, National Park Service.
August 16, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – It's another sign of trouble for water users in the West and Southwest, including Utah.

The Bureau of Reclamation's new forecast comes out today and includes a warning that it will reduce the amount of water released from Lake Powell to the lower Basin states starting in October – the first time that's been recommended in 50 years.

At Western Resource Advocates, Water Program Director Bart Miller says if people aren't convinced of the need to start saving more water, this should do it.

"We have some sense of urgency now that we need to move forward and implement these conservation measures,” he says, “both in cities and on farms, and make better use of our existing supplies through recycling them – and to come up with some really overarching management schemes. So, it's a really important time."

On Utah's southern border, Lake Powell is one of the biggest storage reservoirs in the nation and a water source for Glen Canyon Dam, which produces electricity for more than a million people.

U.S. government officials say in June, only 35 percent of the water that usually flows into the reservoir arrived – and in July, just 13 percent.

Technically, Utah hasn't used its full share of Colorado River Basin water, but the water shortage is making a couple of planned diversion projects in the St. George area more controversial.

Miller says Utah was smart to set a goal of 25 percent reduction in water use for cities in recent years, and more could be done.

"Utah does have some good opportunities to kind of meet their demands in a sustainable way going forward,” he adds. “Many of the cities, like Salt Lake, are headed that way. They're meeting the progress towards that standard, so that's good. Statewide, I think they've taken up a good goal-setting exercise."

Miller notes that water conservation is the least expensive and least controversial way to meet new demands. He says the lower water release from Lake Powell won't be felt for a while, as Las Vegas and other users pull water from multiple sources, including Lake Mead.


Chris Thomas, Public News Service - UT