The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities.

When the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966, it was a major development for water management in the arid west. It would also transform Glen Canyon, sometimes described as America's "lost national park," into the second largest man-made reservoir in the country.

Molly Marcello / KZMU

After pressure from elected officials including Utah’s governor, the Bureau of Land Management dropped plans to auction off two parcels for oil and gas leasing near Arches National Park. The parcels overlapped the famed Slickrock Bike Trail and Moab’s sole source aquifer. KZMU’s Molly Marcello has more.

Climate change has been called the new normal. But residents in some parts of the Southwest say after living through the last two years, there’s nothing normal about it. 

Communities in the Four Corners -- where the borders of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet -- have been bouncing between desperately dry and record-breaking moisture since the winter of 2017, forcing people dependent on the reliability and predictability of water to adapt.

Molly Marcello / KZMU

Arches National Park is officially scrapping their first attempt to find solutions for
traffic congestion in the park. They’re now starting a new process, one that takes a
harder look at mandatory shuttle service, additional entrance roads, and traffic patterns
within the park. KZMU’s Molly Marcello has more.

US Department of Energy

Moab’s toxic uranium legacy is slowly – and carefully - being shipped away
from the banks of the Colorado River. KZMU’s Molly Marcello has more.

KZMU: Slickrock Bike Trail Celebrates 50 Years

Sep 23, 2019
Molly Marcello / KZMU

Many locals in Moab, Utah credit the Slickrock Bike Trail for helping to transform their bust uranium economy to the bustling recreation hub it is today. Molly Marcello with KZMU has more on the now world-famous trail, which celebrates 50 years this season.

KZMU: Utahans Document Fallout of Nuclear Testing

Jul 25, 2019


Throughout the 1950s, the Atomic Energy Commission tested nuclear weapons in a remote area of the Nevada desert. At the time, communities situated downwind were told this project was safe, and would have no impact on public health. Now over 60 years later, Utahans are coming forward to document their stories in the fallout of nuclear testing.

The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks.

Exhibit Near Moab Recalls Glen Canyon Before the Dam

Mar 18, 2019
Molly Marcello

For 55 years, legendary Colorado River runner Ken Sleight has thought about the sacred sites that were submerged in Glen Canyon when it was dammed. An art exhibit showing in Green River, Utah is helping keep the memories alive.

Molly Marcello

Many Coloradans on their way to the tourist mecca of Moab have seen a ramshackle cluster of buildings just off Interstate 70. Some stop to look around, amazed by the isolation. But the few poeple who live there prefer it that way. Molly Marcello with community radio station KZMU in Moab takes us to Cisco, Utah, which, in its own way, is bracing for another busy tourist season.

Brooks Kelly stopped at a display of smart sprinkler-system controllers.

"This 6-station timer — it's got a rebate," said Kelly, who works the plumbing aisle at the St. George Home Depot. "You buy it [and the] Washington County water district gives a $99 credit to your water bill. So, this is free."