Power & Atmosphere — Arizona weighs piping in Mexican water

Arizona is contemplating a plan to pump water from Mexico with the intention to scale back its dependence on the Colorado River. In the meantime, Congress handed a significant spending invoice and a winter storm is constant to trigger points.  

That is Power & Atmosphere, your supply for the newest information targeted on vitality, the setting and past. For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Subscribe right here or within the field under.

(Programming word: We’ll be taking a break subsequent week and return within the new 12 months. Joyful holidays!)

Arizona mulls plan to reduce Colo. River dependence

Arizona’s high water authority is mulling a plan to pump water from a desalination plant by the Sea of Cortez, in a bid to reduce the state’s reliance on the Colorado River.

  • The plan, pitched by Israeli water remedy firm IDE Applied sciences, would contain a binational effort led by Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora to construct the desalination plant and canals to pump water into Arizona and two Sonoran cities.
  • Arizona’s Water Infrastructure Finance Authority this week resolved to maneuver forward with the nascent plan, which nonetheless has to clear regulatory hurdles on the state, native and federal ranges in each Mexico and america. 

If constructed, the desalination plant can be positioned on the Sea of Cortez coast close to Puerto Peñasco, a resort city on the Sonoran panhandle that’s lengthy attracted Arizonan tourism. 

The principle canal from the plant would shoot north by means of Organ Pipe Cactus Nationwide Monument towards Arizona’s predominant inhabitants heart surrounding Phoenix, in accordance with a report by AZ Central. 

A secondary route would pump water south from the plant to Hermosillo, Sonora’s capital, and a 3rd canal or pipeline stemming from the principle line would ship water to the border metropolis of Nogales, Sonora. 

The plan would provide as much as 1 million acre ft of water for buy to Arizona, in accordance with the IDE pitch. One acre foot is roughly the quantity of water crucial to supply water to 2 households for one 12 months. 

Arizona’s fast-growing inhabitants has contributed to water shortages within the Southwest, because the overtaxed Colorado River struggles to produce its seven basin states and Mexico.

Learn extra right here.

Invoice with billions in catastrophe help heads to Biden’s desk

The Home handed a mammoth $1.7 trillion omnibus package deal on Friday, capping off weeks of drama to lock down authorities funding for the 2023 fiscal 12 months.

The invoice contains $772.5 billion in nondefense discretionary spending and $858 billion in protection funding. 

It handed the Home largely alongside get together strains, 225-201-1, a day after the Senate authorized the invoice in a bipartisan vote.

The laws now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature. 


  • The invoice contains $40.6 billion to assist communities get well from “drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, pure disasters and different issues.”
  • That features cash to handle the impacts of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian and assist restore the broken water system in Jackson, Miss.
  • It offers modest will increase to the Environmental Safety Company and the Inside and Power departments. 

Learn extra right here.


The Middle for Organic Variety on Thursday mentioned the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package deal transferring by means of Congress will put North Atlantic proper whales on the trail towards an “irreversible extinction.”

  • A provision included the invoice would make it in order that the lobster business doesn’t should take sure steps to guard the endangered whales.
  • Fewer than 350 North Atlantic Proper Whales are left, together with lower than 100 breeding females, in accordance with the Nationwide Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

Stephanie Kurose, a senior coverage specialist on the Middle for Organic Variety, slammed Senate Majority Chief Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday, calling the “pointless struggling” of whales “heartbreaking.”

Some lawmakers additionally lamented the supply, like Pure Sources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who referred to as it “a step backward for conservation.” 

The package deal additionally included a provision stopping the sage grouse, a chicken residing within the Western U.S., from receiving endangered species protections, additionally rankling environmentalists.  

Learn extra from The Hill’s Brad Costume


An enormous winter storm has left 1000’s stranded at U.S. airports on Friday, simply days earlier than the Christmas vacation.

  • Greater than 3,200 flights had been canceled as of Friday morning, piling on high of the greater than 2,600 flights canceled on Thursday, in accordance with industrial flight tracker FlightAware.
  • Greater than 500 flights alone had been canceled at Chicago’s two main airports — O’Hare and Halfway — on Friday, in anticipation of wind gusts as much as 40 to 50 miles per hour.  

Vacation vacationers might battle to search out different choices to get to their closing locations after Amtrak introduced earlier this week that some Midwest and cross-country routes can be suspended by means of Sunday. 

Learn extra right here, from The Hill’s Julia Shapero


  • China’s aluminum vegetation spew local weather emissions that final 50,000 years. There’s a surprisingly easy answer. (Grid and Inside Local weather Information)
  • A Water Conflict Is Brewing Over the Dwindling Colorado River (ProPublica)

📺 Lighter click on: 2022 was wild

That’s it for at present, thanks for studying. Try The Hill’s Power & Atmosphere web page for the newest information and protection.