Category Archives: Water Issues

Endocrine Pollutants Spike in U.S. Rivers During Low-Flow Periods

The Santa Cruz River just north of Sahuarita, Arizona. Photo by $1LENCE D00600D.

The pipeline leak that spilled sewage into Arizona’s Santa Cruz River is sealed, but another pollution problem persists — one many other American waterways share.

Contaminants of emerging concern, or CECs, are chemicals from drugs and personal care products that most wastewater treatment plants don’t filter out. Some, including estrogenic compounds from products like synthetic birth control, disrupt the hormones of aquatic wildlife, harming reproduction.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
U.S. Streams Like Santa Cruz River See High Endocrine Pollutant Concentrations During Low-Flow

Plan to Help Fish in Central Arizona Lakes Gets Underway

Photo by George Andrejko/AZGFD.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has begun dropping fake plants and other habitat into Roosevelt Lake. Widely varying lake levels at Roosevelt pose problems for natural vegetation.

The work is part of a larger plan, the Tonto National Forest Lakes Habitat Improvement Project, which seeks to help bass and crappie bounce back and boost the sustainability — and fishing prospects — of Salt River reservoirs and Bartlett Lake.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Arizona Game and Fish Installs Artificial Fish Habitat in Roosevelt Lake

Invasive Algae Kills Thousands of Shad in Arizona Lake

Apache Lake, Arizona (photo by Bernard Gagnon).

A population explosion of golden algae, a fast-growing invasive plant, has killed thousands of threadfin shad and some gizzard shad at Apache Lake, a reservoir in central Arizona.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Algal Toxin Kills Thousands Of Fish In Apache Lake

Beyond the Shadow of a Drought: Southwest U.S. Megadrought Nears Certainty

A dry riverbed in California.
Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The risk of a severe, multi-decade drought hitting the Southwest United States by the end of the century could reach as high as 99 percent if greenhouse gas emissions continue along current lines, says a paper by a team of scientists from Cornell University, Columbia University and NASA.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Worst Case: Megadrought Risk Near 99 Percent Under Current Greenhouse Emissions

Climate Change Expands Western U.S. Forest Fires — With Plenty of Help

Smoke from Arizona's Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.
Smoke from Arizona’s Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.

Human-induced climate change has doubled forest fire damage in the West over the past 30 years, says a study published online early by the journal PNAS. But human effects on fire extend far beyond climate.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Western US Forest Fires Expand, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around