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.
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.
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.
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.