Environment & Climate Change

‘Climate change is fundamentally altering the Colorado River’

BY: - October 18, 2021

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday. The situation is likely only to worsen as the climate changes, leaving states and tribes in competition for their most vital resource. Representatives from the […]

Indigenous demonstrators make statement at Interior

BY: - October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Dozens of Indigenous leaders held a sit-in Thursday at the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., in an effort to stop the extractive fossil fuel industries. Jennifer Falcon, Nakoda, Lakota and Dakota, with Indigenous Rising Media, was inside and said before Thursday’s sit-in at the Bureau of Indian Affairs that they warned President Joe […]

Shortened irrigation season means NM will ‘chip away’ at water debt to Texas, official says

BY: - October 13, 2021

The controversial choice to ban irrigation along the Rio Grande as of Oct. 1 in central New Mexico has already shown some benefits, an official told board members of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District on Monday. The Board of Directors voted Aug. 20 to shorten the irrigation season by one month, a decision that […]

‘It’s my livelihood’: Drought and restrictions could kill farms along Rio Grande, farmers say

BY: - October 11, 2021

New Mexico farmers along a central stretch of the Rio Grande say two years of irrigation restrictions imposed amid severe drought threaten their farms, many of which have been around for generations.  In late August, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District imposed a ban on surface-water irrigation. It went into effect about a week ago. […]

Tribal leaders praise Haaland and the US government for restoring Bears Ears

BY: - October 8, 2021

Tribal leaders in the Four Corners and across the country are ecstatic at the news that President Joe Biden signed proclamations this afternoon fully restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments that were both cut into by the previous administration by nearly 2 million acres total. The All Pueblo Council of Governors, which represents […]

Trial starts in Rio Grande Supreme Court water lawsuit between New Mexico and Texas

BY: - October 7, 2021

Attorneys laid out their arguments Monday during the first day of a virtual trial in a lawsuit over Rio Grande water with Texas and the federal government alleging that New Mexico’s use of groundwater cut into Texas’ share of river water. The appointed special master, Michael Melloy, a senior judge for the U.S. 8th District […]

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

BY: - October 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. During a hearing before an Energy and Natural Resources Committee panel, witnesses said long-term solutions and an investment in […]

U.S. House plan for new mining royalties draws objections from Western senators

BY: - October 6, 2021

U.S. senators of both parties at a hearing Tuesday rejected House Democrats’ plans to impose billions of dollars in royalties and other fees on companies that mine for gold, copper, lithium and other minerals, largely in Southwestern states. Among the opponents was Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who said she objected to the House proposal […]


Summer rainfall is more extreme due to climate change in the SW

BY: and - October 5, 2021

If you’ve never lived in or visited the U.S. Southwest, you might picture it as a desert that is always hot and dry. But this region experiences a monsoon in the late summer that produces thunderstorms and severe weather, much like India’s famous summer deluges. And this year, it generated a lot of rain. July […]

Rise in New Mexico earthquakes likely triggered by oil industry

BY: - September 30, 2021

New Mexico’s oil and gas regulators and scientists are on alert after a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in southern New Mexico — an increase likely triggered by oil and gas industry injection wells in the Permian Basin. Since 2018 the number of small quakes of magnitude 1 or greater in the basin has risen from […]

U.S. House Dems pass $28.6B in disaster aid for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, floods

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unveiled a short-term spending measure on Tuesday that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters.  The bill was passed by the House on a party-line vote Tuesday night, 220-211. But it faces a battle in the evenly divided […]

Should NM political maps be based around acequias? Group makes the case.

BY: - September 21, 2021

When rural New Mexicans gather each year for “la limpia de la acequia,” it’s about more than just clearing the vital irrigation channels of dirt and debris, according to the New Mexico Acequia Association.  The annual ritual, in fact, shows how communities are shaped around acequias and why political districts should be drawn with the […]