Officials who worked on Arizona’s drought plan are asking powerful stakeholders to push the state Legislature to pass it.
Jan. 31 is the looming deadline for the Arizona legislature to approve the Drought Contingency Plan, known as the DCP. As a reminder, Arizona has been in a critical drought for almost 20 years.
An organization that represents major Arizona cities is warning Pinal County farmers not to demand more water from the proposed drought contingency plan. Warren Tenney, the executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, says he believes enough is enough.
Arizona House Democrats are hesitant to ratify a proposed drought contingency plan. Some members are worried there’s nothing in the proposal to require more water conservation.
Elemental: Covering Sustainability

A multimedia collaboration between public radio and public television stations in Colorado, Arizona and California.

PHOENIX — On the first day of the legislative session, water led Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address. More specifically, he wants a drought plan finished — one that keeps the Colorado River system at healthy levels. Drought and over-allocation means Lake Mead is at risk of dropping really low. Taken to ...

PHOENIX – The partial federal government shutdown is affecting Arizona’s painstaking work on an internal drought plan, although not enough to delay a federal deadline set for the end of this month. The Bureau of Reclamation remains open, Phoenix-area manager Leslie Meyers said, noting that the bureau’s funding was appropriated in September. The legal counsel ...

COTTONWOOD – Fighting nature with nature seems like a good idea – unless nature doesn’t care about geography. Today, the effects of a federal decision made 20 years ago to use Asian beetles to slow the spread of an invasive shrub across the West are reducing nesting habitat for an endangered songbird – the southwestern ...

WICKENBURG – Jerry Tyra started working underground in 1960, drilling ore samples to help mine companies figure out whether to develop a mine site. Since 2007, the 75-year-old has been doing a different kind of exploration: scouring the state for the thousands of abandoned mines some of his former employers may have left scattered throughout ...

PHOENIX – Sirena Rana Dufault has hiked Mount Lemmon, outside Tucson, more times than she can say. But she still has a sense of wonder, noticing little things, including a dust-colored lizard skittering past. “Oh my gosh!” she said, scooping up the tiny creature. “Look at him! He’s adorable! … He’s like a dinosaur!” Dufault, ...

PHOENIX – At 22, Carly Verbeke has been to Europe twice. But until just now, she had never been on a hike. Now, for the first time, her wheelchair is rolling past tall pines on a flat, paved trail, the smell of damp earth heavy in the air. Her chair isn’t even rated to go ...

PHOENIX – A few years ago, when Caitlin Stewart announced she was going to hike all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail, people had questions. “Probably four to 10 people said, ‘Are you going to bring a machete?’” she recalled. That would be a no. She wasn’t going to take a gun, either. But the ...

PHOENIX – Environmentally speaking, it’s best to reuse your holiday lights for as long as possible, or to donate them. But for the first time, Phoenix is accepting strings of lights for recycling. Residents can drop off lights at one of two transfer stations, starting the day after Christmas. “This is the first year that ...

FLAGSTAFF – The Grand Canyon, carved by water over millions of years, is a geologic wonder that has inspired poets to dream and scientists to ponder. Most of us are lucky to visit once or twice in a lifetime. But for several Native American tribes, the Grand Canyon is their home. “Most Americans think Native ...

GILBERT – From meat trays to mac-and-cheese cups, single-use plastics pack the grocery-store aisles and usually end up in landfills. Now, an Arizona company is on a mission to replace them with biodegradable and compostable products over the next five years. “We had the vision that the whole world was going to demand alternatives to ...