Lake Powell

GOLD MINE SPILLS TOXINS, THREATENING WATERWAYS ACROSS SOUTHWEST

By Miriam Raftery

Updated August 11, 2015 with a statement from the Metropolitan Water Authority.

August 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – More than 3 million gallons of toxic waters contaminated with heavy metals from the King Gold Mine in Colorado were accidentally released by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees working at the site.   The spill has turned clean waterways in three slates a sickly mustard color from a flow moving at four to five miles per hour.

The toxic plume has flowed into major rivers in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico and is expected to soon reach Arizona, where it could potentially taint Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the United States and a major source of drinking water for San Diego, California as well as Las Vegas, Nevada. However the Metropolitan Water District has issued a statement indicating it does not anticipate an impact on local districts' water supplies in our region.

SHRINKING COLORADO RIVER RESERVOIRS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR WATER USE EFFICIENCY, SUPPLY DIVERSIFICATION

 

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – An unprecedented reduction in reservoir releases on the Colorado River announced on Friday, August 16 by the Bureau of Reclamation won’t cut water supplies to agencies in San Diego County or the rest of the Southwest during the 2014 “water year,” but the move does underscore the importance of continued conservation and water-supply diversification across the region.