Water

As the Great Plains disappear, a path to better farming
As the Great Plains disappear, a path to better farming
Since 2009, an area the size of Kansas has been converted to crops.
Clean water repeal moves forward
Clean water repeal moves forward
The public can now weigh in on the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback.
The Pacific Crest Trail’s shadow hikers
The Pacific Crest Trail’s shadow hikers
At the border, migrants and long-distance trekkers hike side by side but worlds apart.
The People of the Sea
California’s Salton Sea is at a crossroads, but whether it dries up and blows away or is restored and rejuvenated, the future does not look bright for its resident renegades, retirees and recluses.
Lakeside City
Fiction: A child's road trip to the Salton Sea
Hold the salt
The largest wetland restoration project on the West Coast tackles the tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay.
When dams were young and gardenias a nickel apiece
Tom Wolf talks to his 90-year-old mother about the Great Depression and the big dams that were built in the West in the 1930s.
Coming to a farm near you: Los Angeles
In this issue of High Country News, Matt Jenkins dives into the murky world of L.A.’s water system
L.A. Bets on the Farm
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – the West’s most powerful water agency – uses a shrewd blend of Wall Street tactics and rural diplomacy to keep the water flowing to L.A. and its environs.
A watershed proposal
Colorado's only wild and scenic river may be harnessed for a water storage project.
Effluent, effluent everywhere
A recent turbidity crisis in Paonia resulted in the issuance of a “boil order,” which reminded us locals how precious clean water is in the arid West.
Making an effluent market
How will Westerners pay for – and market – their recycled drinking water?
Take back these drugs – please
Some communities are trying to keep discarded pharmaceuticals out of the water supply by organizing “take-back programs” for leftover drugs
He loves nature. And dams.
Paul Ostapuk is a nature-lover and outdoorsman who loves Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam.
Facing the Yuck Factor
As population growth and climate change stress the region’s water supplies, Westerners think hard about recycling their effluent, although some worry about the possibly harmful endocrine disrupters found in cleaned-up effluent.
Pipe dreams
Leaky irrigation ditches in Washington’s Methow Valley have made the desert bloom, at the expense of endangered salmon.
Of politics and the river
The last free-flowing river in the desert Southwest, Arizona’s San Pedro, is threatened by an expanding Fort Huachuca and a controversial congressman
Getting fresh with the West’s groundwater
A new desalination technology uses the sun and your air conditioner to create fresh water.
Utah plans to join the Wild and Scenic Rivers System
Utah and Nevada are the only Western states without federally-designated "Wild and Scenic" rivers.
Water does move uphill toward money
Lissa James figures that, with so many other get-rich-quick schemers exploiting the West’s need for water, she should have no problem selling her new book, How to Turn Catastrophe into Cash.
Big dams, big deal
Big Dams of the New Deal Era: A Confluence of Engineering and Politics is as deep and erudite a tome as it sounds, and yet also a surprisingly good read
A struggling sea
California's largest lake, the Salton Sea, is on the verge of ecological collapse.
When the going gets tough, the tough collaborate
Sometimes it seems that only the impact of a severe drought can get Westerners to work together on water issues