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Newest Article

May 22: Obama Soon to Unveil New Clean Water Rule

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Municipalities in South Africa may soon be required to devote money to water infrastructure, while the United States federal government may soon have more power to limit pollution in the nation’s surface waters. Refugees from Burundi making their home in Tanzania are experiencing a cholera outbreak. Glaciers in the Antarctic have seen a sudden increase in melting since 2009.

“We could spend a lot of money to massively treat the water that we drink, but it makes a lot more sense to protect the source.” – Elizabeth Ouzts, spokesperson for Environment America, on a new rule under the Clean Water Act that President Obama is expected to announce in the coming days. (New York Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

15 percent – Portion of their budgets municipalities in South Africa will have to devote to the maintenance and operation of water infrastructure under a proposed new law. Aging infrastructure and a failure to build new facilities for an expanding population has led to service delivery protests in the country. Bloomberg

3000 – Number of Burundian refugees in Tanzania that have fallen ill with cholera. New cases of the waterborne disease are appearing at a rate of 300-400 per day in an area between Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria. Reuters Africa

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

Since 2009, 72 cubic miles of water have melted off of glaciers on the southern Antarctic Peninsula, says a report published Thursday in Science. Evidence of the sudden melting was captured via satellite observations, and scientists say the cause is one degree of warming in the surrounding sea over the past 30 years. Smithsonian

On the Radar

On The Radar

In the coming days, President Barack Obama is expected to announce a new regulation under the Clean Water Act that has been in the works for over a year. The regulation would expand the federal government’s ability to limit pollution in the nation’s surface waters. The rule is being met with heavy opposition from business interests such as farmers, the oil and gas industry, and golf courses, and the House of Representatives already passed a bill to block it, with Republican congressmen calling it a example of ‘executive overreach’. New York Times

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Water News

Newest Article

Infographic: California Urban Water Conservation Standards

Cities must cut water use by 25 percent in 2015.

California Farms Use How Much Water? Nobody Really Knows

No comprehensive data exist on agricultural water consumption.

Infographic: California Freshwater Withdrawals

A breakdown of where California's water is used most, from fracking and Nestle's bottling plant to almonds and lawns.

Gila River Diversion in New Mexico Pits New West vs Old

Debate demonstrates the power of water in the drying American West.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Receives Temporary Dam

Rock barriers will deflect saltwater intrusion in California’s most important water body.

Nepal Earthquake Damages At Least 14 Hydropower Dams

Nation's power grid loses more than 30 percent of generating capacity.

Sao Paulo Drought Perception Impedes Government Action

Transparency , accountability, and civic participation are key to improving Sao Paulo’s water security.

Nepal Earthquake Damages Hydropower Dam

Near the earthquake epicenter, workers were rescued from a dam that is currently under construction by a Chinese company.

Alaska Bulk Water Shipments to California Proposed

Despite a signed contract, Sitka city officials say the real test is whether water is actually delivered.

California Water Restrictions Still Target Lawns

Few substantial changes to the latest version of conservation regulations.

California Water Restrictions Generate Flood of Resistance

Cities object to mandatory limits on water use.

Infographic: Price of Water in 30 Major U.S. Cities (2010-2015)

Cities raise rates to pay for repairs and to respond to conservation.

Infographic: 2015 Price of U.S. Water, Sewer, and Stormwater

Map of the cost of water service in 30 major U.S. cities.

Infographic: Ohio Passes Farm Regulations to Stop Lake Erie Toxic Algae

Ohio passes its first regulations on farm practices and wastewater discharges since the Toledo drinking water crisis eight months ago.

Price of Water 2015: Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 41 Percent Rise Since 2010

As urban water use declines, utilities change business models.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

California Drought Prompts Personal Adjustments

This drought is different, people say — much different.

California Drought Invites Scrutiny of Bottled Water, Fracking

A vortex of attention swirls around industrial activity that does not consume much water.

California Drought Puts Old Features in New Perspective

Water for swimming pools, golf courses, car washes at front lines of fresh scrutiny.

Global Drought Discussed on “The World” with Marco Werman and Circle of Blue

When "The World" wanted to know about global drought conditions last week, producers from one of the important news programs on National Public Radio called Circle of Blue.

Circle of Blue: Old-School Reporting in a New-Style Package

Last month, the Society of Environmental Journalists published a Q&A with our director, J. Carl Ganter.

California Regulators Hint at Forthcoming Urban Water Restrictions

The biggest water users will be required to conserve more than the thrifty.

California’s Voluntary Water Conservation Plan Is Not Close to Working

Deeper drought, warmer temperatures lead to more water use in Southern California, not less.

What Can Be Done to Strengthen India’s Natural Resource Management? [Part 2 of 2]

The good news is that India’s government has started to shift its priorities in terms of how it manages the country’s economy and natural resources.

On Meeting the Colorado River for the First Time

Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton tastes the iconic river.

India’s Water, Food, Energy Conundrum: Conclusions From a Two-Year Reporting Project [Part 1 of 2]

For two years, the Wilson Center and Circle of Blue have explored the contest for food, water, and energy in India and the troubling ways it plays out across the country.

World Water Day Ingredients Need Big Dash of Urgency

Senior editor Keith Schneider wonders if maybe a spokesperson and Xbox games are needed.

U.S. Ports Modernize While Water Supply and Quality Deteriorate

Savannah container terminal is a modern maritime showcase; Savannah River gets dirtier.

National Groundwater Awareness Week: 21 Stories on the World’s Most Abundant Source of Liquid Freshwater

Circle of Blue reports on groundwater supplies and pollution from California and Texas to India and the Middle East.

Wisconsin Iron Mine Plans Abandoned Due to Wetlands

EPA action under Clean Water Act cited as determining factor.

Infographic: Water Footprint of Valentine’s Day

Ever wonder how much water goes into your wine and chocolate? Our Codi Yeager-Kozacek does the research for you.

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California Drought

Newest Article

Infographic: California Urban Water Conservation Standards

Cities must cut water use by 25 percent in 2015.

California Farms Use How Much Water? Nobody Really Knows

No comprehensive data exist on agricultural water consumption.

Infographic: California Freshwater Withdrawals

A breakdown of where California's water is used most, from fracking and Nestle's bottling plant to almonds and lawns.

California Drought Prompts Personal Adjustments

This drought is different, people say — much different.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Receives Temporary Dam

Rock barriers will deflect saltwater intrusion in California’s most important water body.

Alaska Bulk Water Shipments to California Proposed

Despite a signed contract, Sitka city officials say the real test is whether water is actually delivered.

California Water Restrictions Still Target Lawns

Few substantial changes to the latest version of conservation regulations.

California Drought Invites Scrutiny of Bottled Water, Fracking

A vortex of attention swirls around industrial activity that does not consume much water.

California Water Restrictions Generate Flood of Resistance

Cities object to mandatory limits on water use.

Price of Water 2015: Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 41 Percent Rise Since 2010

As urban water use declines, utilities change business models.

California Drought Puts Old Features in New Perspective

Water for swimming pools, golf courses, car washes at front lines of fresh scrutiny.

Infographic: Emergency Water Funds for California Communities (May 2014-July 2015)

State emergency funds help public water systems and private well owners.

California Drought Puts Desalination, Fresh Water From The Sea, In A New Light

Era of ample water supply and cheap prices is ending.

California’s Rainless Summer Will Dry Up Drinking Water Supplies

State and local water administrators face supply emergency that is tightening.

California Regulators Hint at Forthcoming Urban Water Restrictions

The biggest water users will be required to conserve more than the thrifty.

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Action Figures

Newest Article

Azzam Alwash

Can war end in environmental rejuvenation? It did for Iraq’s Mesopotamian Marshlands, believed by many to be the Biblical Garden of Eden. The marshes — straddled between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that wind their way from Turkey’s eastern mountains through the desert plains of the Middle East — were systematically destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s […]

Dennis Nelson

Dennis Nelson grew up on his family’s North Dakota farm, where the groundwater well barely supplied their basic needs. As a child, he didn’t know why the water was scarce when their land was surrounded by wetlands, or “prairie potholes,” as he calls them. “I simply couldn’t make the connection at a young age about […]

Stacey Travis

For more than 15 years, Stacey Travis was a television producer for networks like FOX, A&E, and AMC. Until, that is, she drastically switched careers in 2006, when doctors in Uganda and South Sudan told her about the water-related illnesses that plague these nations. Travis felt compelled to help and soon after founded Drop In […]

Ajay Krishnan

Can something be made of nothing? According to the research of 16-year-old Ajay Krishnan, the answer is yes. A research enthusiast since the sixth grade, Krishnan — now a junior at Oregon Episcopal School — found a way to produce hydrogen gas from wastewater utilizing microbial electrolysis cells. For his work in renewable energy, Krishnan […]

Rose George

While working as an editor and writer at COLORS Magazine, Rose George was assigned to work on Cacas, a coffee table book featuring photographs of animal and human feces, for which “caca” is slang. Through the project, she discovered Sulabh International, an organization in India that provides public toilets and works to liberate those whose […]

Peter Thum

Wine turned Peter Thum to water. While working on a project in South Africa involving two wineries, Thum saw the difficulties that many people experienced just trying to get clean water every day. “I did a bit of research and began to see the size and magnitude of this problem,” he says. So he decided […]

Vessela Monta

“We cannot say that rain is not interesting just because we can dig wells,” says Vessela Monta, a civil engineer by trade who began working with the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in 2002. Some resources — like the availability of harvestable rainwater — get forgotten when discussing sustainability, but not to Monta. She points […]

Isabella Bovolo

Guyana means “land of many waters” in a native Amerindian language, but it also houses one of the most pristine rainforests left in existence, the Iwokrama. In 1996, Guyana and the Commonwealth of Nations established an organization of the same name. According to Iwokrama resident scientist Isabella Bovolo, the organization aims to fill large data […]

David Breashears

In 2007, from 5,600 meters atop the north side of Mount Everest, explorer David Breashears recalls how he was “astonished” by what he saw and “shocked” that he hadn’t been more aware of the state of this Tibetan glacier. Breashears was on a comparative photography assignment to match a photo from 1921 with the modern […]

Erin Huber

Erin Huber grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, near the Great Lakes, where clean fresh water is abundant and tap water is sometimes taken for granted. As a humanitarian and an environmentalist, Huber spearheaded rooftop gardens and farmers’ markets, but eventually honed her focus to water. Huber founded the Drink Local Drink Tap (DLDT) campaign in […]

Rohini Nilekani

Rohini Nilekani began her career as a journalist and writer. But upon marrying Nadan Nilekani — co-founder of the Indian tech-consulting firm Infosys — and coming into some money, she sought a cause to support financially. “I was looking for an area that would make sense to me and that would also have some kind […]

Chris Groves

Dr. Chris Groves spends a lot of his time going underground into caves carved by eons of water flow. Once a boy with an interest in rocks, today Groves is a world-renowned cave and limestone karst expert who directs the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute at Western Kentucky University. “It was the only practical way to […]

Lori Pottinger

Lori Pottinger advocates for rural communities that are at risk of being displaced by dam construction. She says that residents are not always aware of the extent of cultural and lifestyle adjustments they will have to make — or the option of resisting development. “They’re giving their all, and then they’re getting nothing from these […]

Kunal Sangani

Innovation started early for incoming Stanford University freshman Kunal Sangani. At just 17, he was named the U.S. finalist for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for his project about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”). A native of Syracuse, New York, where intense discussion about fracking led to a moratorium on […]

Ed Wargin

Ed Wargin set out almost 17 years ago to document the Great Lakes, and he’s almost finished. The Fresh Coast Project is an effort to document the Great Lakes as a single unit. “I have felt through the years that we needed a solitary type of message, that we needed to look at the Great […]

Broken Landscape: Documentary Features Choke Point: India Report on Meghalaya's Rathole Coal Mines

See our complete coverage of Choke Point: India.

Texas Kansas California Great Lakes Energy Water

Infographic: Live and Historical Water Reservoir Volumes in California (1990-Present)

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U.S. Drought Monitor & Seasonal Outlook

US Drought Monitor US Drought Outlook
The U.S. Drought Monitor and Seasonal Outlook report the most current drought conditions and forecast, courtesy of NOAA, et al.

Special Reports

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