The Stream, November 19: Low Water Levels Threaten Mississippi River Barge Traffic

This summer’s massive drought left Mississippi River levels unusually low, threatening barge traffic. If levels at the Mississippi’s midpoint drop too low, all barge traffic would stop, which could force job cuts, raise fuel costs, and cut into U.S. food supplies.

Water-Sipping Crops
In the state of Karnataka, India, farmers are using a specialized paddy crop that uses less water toward a higher total yield. The crop will be planted over roughly 5,000 acres this season, The Hindu reported, and may expand to 15,000 acres over two years.

Variable Pricing in California
Charging the highest water users the highest rates helps users save money and better manages limited water resources, a blogger at the Natural Resource Defense Council wrote. California just approved a so-called tiered pricing system, which Kate Poole argues is an effective tool to help the state adapt to an ever-more limited water supply.

Lunar Supply
Several companies developing robotic water-prospecting devices say the U.S. is on the verge of a rush to acquire water from the moon. The moon ice, the Kennedy Space Center reported, could be immensely valuable to astronauts traveling in deep space.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

Author: Andrew Maddocks   is a Washington, D.C–based correspondent for Circle of Blue. He graduated from DePauw University as a Media Fellow with a B.A. in Conflict Studies. He co-writes The Stream, a daily summary of global water news.

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