Will A Colorado River Drought Dry Up Energy Supplies?
This week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, a federal agency that manages water in the Western U.S., started the process of cutting water use allotments along the Colorado River after seven states missed a deadline for coming up with their own reduction plan.
The area has been under a long-running drought—and with water in demand for everything from drinking to agriculture to industry, and with the population of the area on the rise, agreements over water use are difficult to come by. The drought may have another less obvious effect on the area as well—drops in water allocation could lead to declines in power production in a region that relies on several major hydroelectric facilities.
Umair Irfan, staff writer at Vox, joins Ira to talk about the plan for distributing western water and other stories from the week in science— including a possible reprieve for nuclear power plants in Germany and California, a geomagnetic storm sparking an astronomical light show, orders for future supersonic aircraft, and investigations into why thinking hard makes you physically tired.
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Umair Irfan is a staff writer for Vox, based in Washington, DC.
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As Science Friday’s director and senior producer, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.
Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.