Lake Powell’s receding waters show risk of U.S. ‘megadrought’

More than 500 feet (150 meters) deep in places and with narrow side canyons, the shoreline of the lake is longer than the entire West Coast of the United States. It extends upstream into Utah from Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam and provides water for Nevada, Arizona and California.

But a severe drought in recent years, combined with the tapping of the lake’s water at what many consider to be an unsustainable level, has reduced its levels to only about 42 percent of its capacity, according to the U.S. space agency NASA. Continue reading

Colorado river is collapsing ‘sooner than anyone thought’

(NaturalNews) Water resource experts have known for many years that current use of the Colorado River is not sustainable. Sixteen years of drought have made it clear that the river is overtaxed, and cannot indefinitely meet the demands of agriculture, hydroelectric generation, recreation and sustaining the populations of some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation.

This past spring was an unusually wet one, leading to higher-than-average runoff from river’s source in the Rocky Mountains. Yet even at atypically high levels, the river still ran dry before reaching its outlet at the Gulf of California.

All of which suggests that the elaborate water distribution system that sustains the cities and farms of the Southwest may be collapsing sooner than anyone expected. Continue reading

Americans on the move want warmth, affordability: reports

(Reuters) – Americans moving out of state in 2014 were most likely to head to places that were warmer and more affordable, such as the South and Southwest, according to studies by two major moving companies.

The 47th annual report by Allied Van Lines showed that Illinois topped the list of states people are moving away from with 1,372 net moves, followed by Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and New Jersey. The states have remained in the top five since 2010, the company said. Continue reading

Rural Americans’ Power Bills Could Skyrocket 40 Percent Due To EPA Rules

President Obama said electricity bills would “necessarily skyrocket” as a result of his energy policies. Rural Americans are about to find out how much.

At least six electric cooperative utilities across the U.S. mid-and-southwest could raise electricity rates up to 40 percent if the Environmental Protection Agency imposes new permitting regulations on coal-fired power plants.

The regulations would cost Deseret Power Electric Cooperative (DPEC) $200 million to install advanced equipment to qualify for a Clean Air Act Title V permit. Continue reading