Sustainability on KJZZ

Navajo Nation Appoints New EPA Executive Director
The Navajo Nation has appointed Valinda Shirley to head its Environmental Protection Agency. The position is an important one, because there are more than 500 abandoned uranium mines on the reservation.
Farmers Reduce Water Usage, Improve Colorado River Water Quality
The Colorado River and its tributaries irrigate some of the country’s most productive farmland, in Western Colorado. But agriculture in this arid region is made more difficult by its salty soil, and old-school irrigation methods that send harmful minerals into streams.
Jan. 5, 2021
When Wildfire Burns A High Mountain Forest, What Happens To The Snow?
Record-breaking wildfires in 2020 turned huge swaths of Western forests into barren burn scars. Those forests store winter snowpack that millions of people rely on for drinking and irrigation water. But with such large fires, the effects to the region’s water supplies aren't well understood.
Jan. 4, 2021
Over millions of years, the living creatures that call the Colorado River river home have adapted to its natural variability of seasonal highs and lows. But for the last century, they have struggled to keep up with rapid change in the river’s flows and ecology.
Dec. 28, 2020
Elemental: Covering Sustainability

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

Hot Weather Means Unhealthy Air, Even With Shutdown

Earlier this month we celebrated Southern California’s great air quality — with many caveats — but now, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, it’s “Very Unhealthy” in some spots, even though we still have widespread shutdowns. As you can see, as of midafternoon on April 29, people living in Rancho Cucamonga experienced ...

May. 7, 2020
Yosemite’s Pandemic Shutdown Allows Wildlife a Respite From Mankind

Coyotes are roaming empty campsites. Deer are grazing on empty fields. Rivers are rushing as the ice melts. Yosemite National Park is virtually empty of humans. For weeks now, wildlife has been allowed to move freely about the park since officials closed the mountains and valleys to humans to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. “I can ...

May. 6, 2020
Plan to ‘revive’ Uranium Mining Called Unneeded, Unwanted by Advocates

PHOENIX – Environmentalists are blasting a Trump administration call for “bold action to revive and strengthen the uranium mining industry,” an industry whose history they say has left a “toxic trail” through the Grand Canyon. They are responding to a report last week by the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Fuel Working Group, which called for ...

May. 5, 2020
Worse Air Quality In Phoenix Communities Of Color Could Mean Higher COVID-19 Risk

CRONKITENEWS · KJZZ: Worse Air Quality In Phoenix Communities Of Color Could Mean Higher COVID-19 Risk As coronavirus spreads across the country, it’s hitting certain demographic groups disproportionately hard, and air quality is likely playing a role on which communities are hit hardest. COVID-19 is riskiest for people who have underlying health conditions such as ...

May. 4, 2020
‘Borrowing from the future’: What an Emerging Megadrought Means for the Southwest

PHOENIX – It’s the early 1990s, and Park Williams stands in the middle of Folsom Lake, at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. He’s not walking on water; severe drought has exposed the lakebed. “I remember being very impressed by the incredible variability of water in the West and how it’s ...

May. 1, 2020
Feeding Sea Urchins Could be One Way to Restore the West Coast’s Vital Kelp Forests

LOS ANGELES – Considered a delicacy around the globe, sea urchins please the palates of the wealthy, showing up on sushi bars and swirled into pasta at fine restaurants. However, these spiny creatures in recent years have plowed through forests of bull kelp along coasts around the world. Sea urchins pose a problem to kelp ...

Apr. 27, 2020
A Lot Of You Had Questions About Coronavirus In The Water. We Have Some Answers.

The coronavirus pandemic is so new to us that things that seemed so certain — like the safety of our water supply — are suddenly raising questions. Among the nearly 1,500 questions our newsroom has fielded since the outbreak of COVID-19, some have been about water. They usually go something like this: Can a person ...

Apr. 21, 2020
Myth is Reality: Discovery of Bald Eagles Nesting in a Saguaro Confirms Longtime Speculation

PHOENIX – For eight decades, biologists have speculated that bald eagles build their nests in large saguaros. This week, that speculation became reality. The Arizona Game & Fish Department on Wednesday announced the discovery of the first bald eagle nest in a saguaro since before World War II. “It was absolutely amazing when I got ...

Apr. 20, 2020
Prescott’s Bid to Draw More Groundwater Could Threaten Verde River

The Verde River, one of the few perennial rivers in Arizona, is known for its fishing and recreation, but it also provides water to Prescott and metro Phoenix. The more than 170-mile long river flows from its headwaters near Flagstaff south to the Salt River. Along the way, the Verde supplies water to the Little ...

Apr. 17, 2020
Traffic, Emissions Reduced As Arizonans Stay Home

Arizonans staying home amid the pandemic are making a measurable impact on road congestion and air quality. Weekday vehicle traffic volume is down by a third since early March, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments. More Valley workers are telecommuting than ever before, and if some workers continue to do their jobs from home ...

Apr. 13, 2020