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Newest Article

Switzerland Pledges 50 Percent Emissions Cut By 2030

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Switzerland pledged emission cuts for a global climate deal in Paris, India’s groundwater is declining, and Sao Paulo mineral water deliveries are on the rise. Water infrastructure inefficiencies are losing billions of gallons globally. A deadly fungus was discovered in Madagascar’s frog populations, and a new iron mine is off the table in northern Wisconsin. Light bulbs and boats are just some of the new uses people are finding for old water bottles.

“This objective of a 50% reduction in emissions reflects Switzerland’s responsibility for climate warming and the potential cost of emissions reduction measures in Switzerland and abroad over the 2020-2030 period.” –Swiss government in a statement pledging its contribution to a global climate change deal to be signed in Paris this December. Switzerland is the first country to formally pledge emission reductions for the deal. (Guardian)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

46 billion liters Amount of drinking water lost globally each day before it reaches consumers due to leaky systems, theft, and other inefficiencies. Guardian

54 percent Amount of groundwater wells surveyed in India where water levels declined over the past seven years. Sixteen percent of those wells decreased by more than 1 meter each year. Bloomberg

10 percent Average recovery rate globally of the plastic that makes up plastic water bottles. This slideshow details some innovative ways that the world is reusing its plastic water bottles. Bloomberg

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

Scientists found frogs in Madagascar infected with the Bd chytrid fungus that has pushed many global frog populations to the brink of extinction. The researchers worry that the fungus could decimate populations of the 500 endemic frog species in Madagascar. Guardian

On the Radar

On The Radar

Plans for a major new iron mine in northern Wisconsin stopped Friday following an announcement by the company that wetlands in the area made the mine unfeasible. The mine was sharply contested in the state due to concerns over water pollution and the destruction of wild rice beds. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Demand for mineral water delivers has more than doubled in Sao Paulo in the past few months, according to the city’s deliverymen. The water is brought in large jugs from outside of the city’s water system, which is running dry due to drought and mismanagement. Los Angeles Times

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Water News

Newest Article

Stanley Heckadon-Moreno’s Gift to Panama Is Clean Rivers, Magnificent Tropical Forests

One of Latin America’s greatest conservationists teaches the virtue of a natural landscape.

California Drought Cuts Farm Water Allocation to Zero for Second Consecutive Year

The Central Valley prepares for an unprecedented shortage.

Israel and Jordan Agree to Share Water, But Fall Short of Saving Dead Sea

The $US 900 million deal on scaled-back scheme neglects Palestine.

Central Texas Drought Is Worst on Record

Competition for water prompts a quest for new sources.

Panama’s Hydropower Development Defined By Fierce Resistance and Tough Choices

Rising electrical demand presents an opening for clean power, and new risks from fossil fuels.

Study: Decades-long ‘Megadroughts’ in U.S. Southwest and Central Plains More Likely Due to Climate Change

Droughts that are extreme by today’s standards will be normal by the end of the century, according to NASA research.

Pacific Northwest’s Winter, Warm and Wet, Is Climate Change Preview

Little snow in sight looks to be the future of the American West.

Great Lakes Toxic Algae Prompts Big Investment and Rare Political Agreement

After last summer's toxic algae outbreak, safe drinking water is a priority again in Ohio, the state that spurred the Clean Water Act four decades ago.

California Drought: A Dry January Closes and Dread Mounts

Snowpack in the already-parched state is near record lows, just 25 percent of normal.

Pace of U.S. Dam Removals Accelerates

72 dams were torn down in 2014, a record.

Infographic: The Drier, Wetter, Warming U.S.

Despite warm and cold extremes in 2014, precipitation and temperature trends over the past century show a drier Southwest and Southeast, a wetter Midwest and Northeast, and overall warming. By Kaye LaFond Circle of Blue The data is in, and though 2014 was a year of weather extremes, more than 120 years of record-keeping show […]

Panama Canal Expansion Will Have Big Effect on Energy, Water, and Grain in U.S. and China

Deeper channels and immense new locks are due to open in 2016.

Report: Farming and Urban Growth Are Polluting U.S. Aquifers

One-fifth of U.S. groundwater wells had at least one contaminant above federal standards for human health, according to new USGS study.

Important California Water Infrastructure Talks Start This Week

State and local agencies plan to invest billions in new assets.

Des Moines Initiates Clean Water Act Lawsuit to Stem Farm Pollution

Iowa’s largest city will sue three upstream counties to reduce nitrate contamination.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

Infographic: Water Footprint of Valentine’s Day

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.

Hawaii Transforms Watershed Protection With Technology

UAVs, satellites, and cameras used on the Mars rovers help managers protect water.

Meghalaya Documentary — “Broken Landscape” — Premieres At Big Sky Film Festival

The film explores one of the world's most dangerous coal fields.

TIP: This Is Panama

A rising star in Central America has a rare opportunity: to develop in a way that respects its land, water, and people.

India’s Economy Slows as Condition of Water, Land, and Cities Deteriorates

Prime Minister Modi and President Obama this week need to talk about 21st-century development.

Boquete, Panama is Banquet of Coffee, Flowers, Water, and Rainbows

Coffee farms and the recreation economy flourish beneath Panama's big volcano.

Year In Review: Looking Back on 2014, Looking Ahead to 2015

Aubrey Ann Parker reflects on our work last year and updates on stories we’ve covered in years past.

Panama’s Water-Rich Eden Confronts Snake’s Temptation

Can the richest Central American nation build a commercial eco-paradise?

One Year After West Virginia Chemical Spill, U.S. Drinking Water Protections Still Fall Short

Vulnerabilities, exposed by the spill and incidents in North Carolina and Toledo, remain.

Video: U.S.-China Climate Pact Is the Real Deal

Circle of Blue's Keith Schneider discusses the implications of the landmark climate agreement.

The Story of Water, Energy, and Food Lives Here

Keith Schneider reports that the U.S.-China climate agreement is a Circle of Blue high point.

American Geophysical Union 2014 Recap: That Sinking, Drying, Sharing Feeling

Water features prominently at world’s largest Earth sciences conference.

State Water Plans Are Coming Due

Reporter Brett Walton previews two plans — in Arkansas and Colorado — that will be unveiled this week, in addition to the Kansas plan that is due out next year

Colorado River Research Group Delivers Message of Water Limits

Veteran scholars argue that creative solutions for the iconic watershed must begin with a hard fact, something our Brett Walton finds refreshing.

This is India — “Maybe Tomorrow”

Reflections of the banquet of bedlam that is modern India

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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 […]

Texas Kansas California Great Lakes Energy Water

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

Qlikview Qlikview

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.

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