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Choke Point: India - The Leopard in the Well

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Clinton Global Initiative

 
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The Daily Stream

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January 30: Senate Approves Keystone XL, Paving Way for Obama to Make A Long-Awaited Decision

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The U.S. Senate has approved Keystone XL, and the time has come for the President of the United States to either sign or veto. The time has also come and gone – again – to launch NASA‘s soil moisture monitoring satellite. A new study says that extreme storms are likely to get larger and less frequent, and another study shows that heat waves in cities around the globe are increasing. California‘s snow pack currently stands at only a quarter of the average.

 “This issue is ready for a decision.” — Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, on President Obama’s upcoming veto or signature of a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. (New York Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

62 to 36 – Results of a vote in the Senate yesterday which favored building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The measure is expected to reach President Obama’s desk next week, and is expected to be met with a veto. New York Times

25 percentCalifornia’s snow pack this year as compared to average. Scientists performed their yearly measurements in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Thursday. The lack of snow does not bode well for drought-ridden California, as precipitation in rain form is harder to capture and store than slow snow melt.  Los Angeles Times

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

A study led by Canadian scientists shows that extreme storms, such as the blizzard in New England this week, will likely become larger, but less frequent. The study analyzes the atmosphere as a heat engine – climate change will likely change the way it works. Warmer temperatures will increase the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold, fueling larger storms with more precipitation, but this will also use up so much energy that wind intensity may decrease, also decreasing storm frequency. Reuters

Heatwaves in over 200 cities around the world are on the upswing, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. The study found that hot periods lasting 6 days or more have increased over the past 40 years. In 50 percent of the cities studied, individual hot days have also increased. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

The launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite has been called off for the second time this week in order to repair damaged insulation. It was called off for the first time due to high winds, and the launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow. CBS NEWS

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Water News

Newest Article

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 America’s Aquifers

One-fifth of U.S. groundwater wells had at least one contaminant above federal standards for human health.

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.

California’s Record Heat Magnified Drought Woes in 2014

Precipitation was near average, but temperatures smashed the previous heat record.

World Economic Forum Ranks Water Crises as Top Global Risk

Water rises on the world agenda.

Along Fouled Ganga, Fresh Resolve to Make India’s Mother River Clean Again

Courts and Prime Minister Modi press for new operating system to stem pollution.

Photo Slideshow: China Completes Second Line of South-North Water Transfer Project

Massive manmade river begins moving water from central China to Beijing.

2015 Water Preview, Part II: National – States React to New Era of Water Scarcity

Water is priority in state legislatures and governors’ offices.

2015 Water Preview, Part I: International – Sustainable Development Goals Push Water to Center Stage

Water fits a new global development agenda.

Water Left Out Of Lima Climate Negotiations

A month after water supply was a central feature of a U.S. – China agreement, formal recognition of water scarcity and access is still elusive.

Infographic: California Drought Drains Groundwater Reserves and Encourages New Wells

Most aquifers in the state have dropped to record lows.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

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

Thanksgiving: World Food Entree and Water News On The Side

Sharing the table with a discussion of global grain supplies.

A Smarter, Snappier Stream

Reporter Codi Kozacek gives a tour of Circle of Blue’s redesigned water news digest.

Meghalaya’s Coal Shutdown Order Tests Law and New Court’s Resolve

The big case has huge ramifications for India’s water, land, and economy.

India’s National Green Tribunal Challenges Government and Industry To Follow the Law

Four-year-old court emerges as global leader in securing resources, promoting economic gain.

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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 […]

Ned Breslin

Ned Breslin is the CEO at Water For People, a nonprofit that implements drinking water solutions in 11 countries.
  •    More Ned Breslin

  • Peter Gleick

    Dr. Peter Gleick is president of the Pacific Institute, an internationally recognized water expert, and a MacArthur Fellow.
  •    More Peter Gleick

  • James Workman

    James Workman is an award-winning journalist and has served as an environmental consultant to U.S.-cabinet members.
  •    More James Workman

  • 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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