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The Australian Approach to Water Crisis: Work With Farmers

With water crises erupting in California, Texas, and the Colorado River Basin, state water managers throughout the western U.S. and our federal government could take some valuable lessons from the impressive progress made in Australia over the past decade. The Aussies have taken some giant leaps forward in their efforts to avert water shortages in…

Frigid Forecast for Water Temperatures on Great Lakes This Summer

Of all the images of ice last winter, one of my favorites was a friend’s photo of crumpled sheets of blue ice on the west side of Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. With her smartphone, Denise McDonough snapped a photo that looked like it was taken by a polar explorer, not by one of…

The Pope and U. S. Military Voice Support for Action on Climate Change

As the Obama administration unveils its plan to slash carbon pollution from U. S. power plants, the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church and former top brass in the U. S. military have each issued proclamations in support of climate protection. In recent weeks, Pope Francis and a group of 16 retired U. S. military…

Blind Hoosier Cavefish: Freshwater Species of the Week

As an Indiana Hoosier, I was thrilled to learn of this new species: the Hoosier cavefish (Amblyopsis hoosieri). Described this week, the Hoosier is the first species of cavefish to be named in the U.S. in 40 years, making its entry into the pantheon of known creatures even sweeter. The small, blind fish can grow…

The Unsung Heroes of the Colorado River Delta Pulse Flow

This spring, the gates were opened at Morelos Dam, the furthest downstream in a string of infrastructure along the Colorado River that store and divert water to people and industries throughout the basin.  Sitting approximately 100 river miles upstream of the Sea of Cortez, Morelos Dam has been the southern terminus of the Colorado River…

The World’s Largest Migratory Freshwater Fish

May 24th, 2014, marks the first ever World Fish Migration Day—a day created to raise awareness about the great diversity of migratory freshwater fish species, their importance, and the many threats to their populations and ecosystems. Migratory freshwater fish occur worldwide and include many familiar species. And while diadromous fish (fish that move between freshwater…

Recognizing World Fish Migration Day in the Amazon’s Waters

The Amazon basin—with its vast rainforests and river systems—is the most bio-diverse place on earth and, not surprisingly, a region rich in discovery. Newly described plant and animal species are a frequent occurrence. The recent video documentation of a newly discovered fish migration is a much rarer event and particularly noteworthy this weekend as we celebrate World Fish Migration Day, a one-day global initiative to boost awareness of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish.

A Sacred Reunion: The Colorado River Returns to the Sea

After coursing through its delta for nearly eight weeks, the fresh waters of the Colorado River have touched the high tides of the salty sea. It is the first time in sixteen years that the Colorado River, which flows 1,450 miles (2,334 kilometers) from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado  to the Sea…

The Colorado River Flows to the Sea

This week, the Colorado River will be reunited with the sea – a destination it hasn’t seen in many years – thanks to the “pulse flow.” Scientists monitoring the flow expect the two waters to meet sometime tomorrow, during high tide, but it’s actually possible that the river reached the sea last week, as we…

Gila River Diversion Would Be a Costly Failure

As the December deadline approaches for New Mexico to decide whether or not it will proceed with a controversial diversion of the Gila River, a former director of the state’s Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) testified on April 30 to the ISC that the proposed diversion would result in “a failed project that would produce little…

An Innovative Conservation Fund for the Colorado River

The four largest cities that get their drinking water from the Colorado River are gearing up to pilot an innovative conservation scheme that pays farmers, industries and municipalities to reduce their use of the river’s water. The main aim of the new initiative is to keep the levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the…

Fishing in the Gene Pool for New Species

  By Matthew Frank  One day last summer, Michael LeMoine, a Ph.D. candidate in fisheries biology at the University of Montana, carried a nondescript cardboard box into the Missoula FedEx office. Inside it was a jar of ethanol containing a single specimen of a new species of a type of fish called a sculpin. The…

Wetlands Do Triple Duty in a Changing Climate

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Restoration of natural infrastructure like freshwater wetlands should become a key piece of our national climate change adaptation strategy.

Wildfires in the Western U.S. Are on the Rise, Posing Threats to Drinking Water

When the Las Conchas Fire scorched some 151,000 acres of northern New Mexico in 2011, it wasn’t just the direct fire damage that was cause for worry. Striking as it did in the midst of a persistent drought, but just before summer “monsoon” rains, the Las Conchas – the largest blaze in New Mexico’s recorded…

Working Together to Change the Course

Everybody prefers a healthy, flowing river to a dried-up river channel. But in many parts of the world, including much of the western United States, it sometimes appears like we have to dry up our rivers to grow the food we need – that we can’t have productive agriculture and healthy rivers side-by-side. But, in…