"Six western states that rely on water from the Colorado River have agreed on a model to dramatically cut their use, months after the federal government called for action and an initial deadline passed. California — with the largest allocation of water from the river — is the lone holdout."
Planning & Growth
Join SEJ virtually on February 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET for a look at the year ahead in the just-released "Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment," moderated by #SEJ2023 co-chair Tom Michael. Top stories for energy and environmental journalists to cover in 2023: environmental justice, climate change and biodiversity, clean energy and the critical minerals rush, wildfire and public lands management, indoor air quality and salmon and dams. We'll be touring and discussing all these issues and more at SEJ's 32nd annual conference in Boise, Idaho, April 19-23. On Feb 9, you'll also get a preview of #SEJ2023 agenda and issues.
Iconic critters like salmon, orca and wolves. Climate controversies like natural gas greenwashing and carbon auctions. And wildfire fallout like “smoke-a-geddon.” These are just some of the wide array of stories worth covering as environmental journalists scan Cascadia, the huge area encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and stretching from Alaska to Utah. This special TipSheet, part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, outlines top issues in the region, offering insights, resources and story angles.
"The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, coming together in a great river like no other — a river that travels more than 1,400 miles and has defined the rise of the American Southwest over the last century."
"Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday he filed a challenge against the new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers definition of which waterways and wetlands are subject to federal permitting requirements."
"Deaths outnumbered births last year for the first time in six decades. Experts see major implications for China, its economy and the world."
Water has always been a precious commodity in the western states. Now, with rapid population growth and a drying climate, the way this resource is shared and distributed is becoming more contentious across the region. Freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham talks about the tensions between supply and demand and how to drill down into water rights laws and policies.
"A draft update of the state’s $50 billion coastal master plan predicts that 61 new projects to build or protect land, a dozen new levees, and new efforts to elevate, flood-proof or relocate flood-prone homes will reduce annual hurricane storm surge damages by at least $11 billion per year by 2073."
"The “work from home” revolution has been very good for political columnists who like to write shirtless in pajama pants and share too much personal information with their readers. But the phenomenon hasn’t been so great for America’s cities."
"In the increasingly dry Southwest, drought and climate change pose a challenge for developers, who need to find creative ways to provide water supply to new communities."