Bad news good news For the first time in history, low water levels on the Colorado River have forced Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico to cut back the amount of water they use. It’s the latest example of climate change affecting daily life, but also an encouraging sign that people can handle a world with less: These orderly cutbacks are only happening because seven U.S. states and Mexico had agreed to abide by conservation rules when flows subside, rather than fight for the last drops. “It is a new era of limits,” said Kevin Moran, who directs the Environmental Defense Fund’s Colorado River efforts. The Colorado River is a vital source of water for the American West, sustaining some 40 million people and 5.5 million acres of farmland. And it’s been under enormous stress. Since 2000, the watershed has been, to put it mildly, dry. The region is suffering the worst 20-year drought in modern times. A Bureau of Reclamation study of Colorado River levels , released Thursday, triggered the cutbacks. The Rocky Mountains finally turned white with heavy snow last winter, but despite a galloping spring runoff, drought persists and bathtub-ringed reservoirs in the Grand Canyon are low. In […]

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