CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITYClouds with a Silver Lining: Seeding Storms to Boost the Colorado River
People in seven western states and Mexico rely on the Colorado River for their water supplies. As the climate warms, the mighty river's flows are expected to shrink—straining its ability to meet demands of cities and farms. Water managers are bracing themselves for potential shortages and therefore keeping a watchful eye on Colorado's snowpack, where much of the water originates. More snow means more runoff—so many cities, water districts, and even ski areas are participating in a little-known program to "fire up" more snowflakes from winter storms.
THE CONFLUENCE: WATER, POLITICS,
A lot of water is moved from the western part of Colorado to the east where much of the state's population lives. Those diversions involve a complex system of pipes, reservoirs, pumps, and canals to keep the whole operation flowing. Setting aside the heated politics of moving resources from one basin to another, the conveyance of water under the Continental Divide is an engineering triumph, and in one case, for a couple living isolated in a high mountain valley, it's a "pipe dream" come true.
THE DIRT: AGRICULTURE, FOOD & WATERPay Dirt: How Farmers Are Using Less Water, Avoiding Pesticides, and Building Healthy Soil—All While Maintaining or Increasing Yields
It’s harvest time for much of the country and also a time to plan for the season ahead. For a growing number of farmers, that will mean planting something called "cover crops"—plants that control erosion, conserve water, build healthy soils, and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides—all while maintaining yields. As H2O Radio reports, the "soil health movement" is shifting the ground beneath farmers' feet—for the better.
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