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Newest Article

August 28: Judge Stops U.S. Clean Water Rule

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A federal judge in North Dakota placed an injunction on the new federal Clean Water Rule, which is scheduled to take effect today. Extreme droughts, like the one in Central Europe this year, could become more common in the region. Hydropower development in India threatens habitat for the Tibetan crane, California met its water use reduction targets for July, and bottled water sales in the United States are on track to exceed soda sales in the next two years.

“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely.”–Ralph Erickson, U.S. district judge in Fargo, North Dakota, in granting a temporary injunction exempting 13 states from the federal Clean Water Rule, which was set to take effect Friday. The rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeks to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act. (Associated Press)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

31 percent Water use reduction in California in July, higher than the 25 percent reduction target mandated by the state government. Reuters

7 percent Growth in the amount of bottled water sold in the United States last year, meaning it will likely outsell soda by 2017. The Wall Street Journal

Science

Science, Studies, And Reports

A severe drought in Central Europe this year, the worst since 2003, provides a window into the region’s future climate, according to a report from the European Drought Observatory. The area is also likely to see more extreme floods. Guardian

On the Radar

On The Radar

The construction of a 780-megawatt hydropower dam in India could destroy winter habitat for the Tibetan crane, a vulnerable species. Other hydropower projects planned for the region could compound the problem. Guardian

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Water News

Newest Article

Infographic: U.S. Surface Water Pollution by State

More than half of the country's lakes and rivers are not meeting water quality standards.

Effective Responses to Global Water Crisis Are Largely Local

With exceptions like California and Australia, regions and cities shape resilient adaptations to water security.

‘Disastrous Year’ for North Cascades Glaciers Heralds Global Decline

Record heat in 2015 is melting glaciers at an eye-popping pace.

California Drought and Strengthening El Nino Accelerate Statewide Water Transition

New infrastructure, laws, and practices help the state respond to hydrologic extremes, but more are needed.

Los Angeles Looks to Stormwater to Secure Water Sustainability

Second largest U.S. city confronts new era of water scarcity with innovations on a new scale.

U.S. Clean Water Law Needs New Act for the 21st Century

Seminal water law does not address nation's emerging water pollution challenges.

Federal Drought Policy Need Not Wait for Congress

Natural resources agencies have the authority to change practices on their own, conservation groups argue.

California Drought Signals Fundamental Shift to New Water Conditions

Climate change models have long predicted a drying West. In California, the future has arrived.

EPA Clean Power Plan Delivers Significant Benefits for Water

Cutting carbon emissions from power plants will lead to reductions in water use, water withdrawals, and mercury pollution in rivers and lakes.

U.S. Clean Water Enforcement Strategy: Big Penalties But Fewer Prosecutions

Agencies are going after polluters with smaller staffs and less money.

EPA Clean Water Rule Meets Political Pushback

Unlike previous eras, Congress has avoided adjusting the law to manage new conditions.

Texas Fund Turns Oil Dollars into Water Investments

Houston is the big winner in first round of state financing for new water infrastructure fund.

Sites Reservoir in Northern California Is 20th-Century Idea Trying to Fit the 21st

New surface water storage project would be largest in California since 1979.

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater

A court test of federal water law by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has implications for the American West.

Infographic: Lake Titicaca Contends With Water Pollution and Climate Change

Receding glaciers, growing cities, and expanding agriculture threaten the highest navigable lake in the world.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

After Dry Wells, Relief for Some California Families

State and local aid is helping, but only for a few.

On the Value of Water and the Pain of Drought in the American West

Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton says that drought is forcing the public to confront important questions about the value of water.

The Toledo Water Crisis, One Year Later

Circle of Blue reporter Codi Kozacek summarizes the major steps taken to reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

Why Asking ‘How Much Rain Will End the Drought?’ Is the Wrong Question

People need to be in the equation too, says Circle of Blue report Brett Walton.

Along Lake Superior Shore: Climate Change, CAFOs, and Camaraderie

Circle of Blue data reporter Kaye LaFond describes her experience as a fellow at the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources’ Lake Superior Institute.

Fear and Hoping in Seattle

All is woe in the water world — or is it? Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton reflects on an extraordinary summer.

Contemplating Water’s Future in a Dry Arizona Riverbed

A sunrise photoshoot in the drying Colorado River Basin leads to more than images -- Circle of Blue director J. Carl Ganter's meeting with Governor Stephen Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community.Circle of Blue Director J. Carl Ganter met with Governor Stephen Lewis of the Gila River Indian Community in the drying Colorado River Basin.

The Science Communication Challenge

Circle of Blue intern Connor Bebb explains his passion for sharing information about our most important shared resource — water.

Water, Food, and Ecuador

From New York to Chicago to South America, Circle of Blue intern Miranda Cawley describes what drew her to the water-food-energy nexus.

Surviving the Nepal Earthquake

Circle of Blue intern Crystal Edmunds recounts her first-hand experience of the Gorkha earthquake and raises questions about what it means for water.

Water Pricing Story Makes Headlines

The price of water is national news, and Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton is driving the story.

Meghalaya Documentary — “Broken Landscape” — Broadcast Premiere on CNN-IBN in India

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

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.

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California Drought

Newest Article

Effective Responses to Global Water Crisis Are Largely Local

With exceptions like California and Australia, regions and cities shape resilient adaptations to water security.

After Dry Wells, Relief for Some California Families

State and local aid is helping, but only for a few.

California Drought and Strengthening El Nino Accelerate Statewide Water Transition

New infrastructure, laws, and practices help the state respond to hydrologic extremes, but more are needed.

Los Angeles Looks to Stormwater to Secure Water Sustainability

Second largest U.S. city confronts new era of water scarcity with innovations on a new scale.

Federal Drought Policy Need Not Wait for Congress

Natural resources agencies have the authority to change practices on their own, conservation groups argue.

California Drought Signals Fundamental Shift to New Water Conditions

Climate change models have long predicted a drying West. In California, the future has arrived.

Sites Reservoir in Northern California Is 20th-Century Idea Trying to Fit the 21st

New surface water storage project would be largest in California since 1979.

California Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwater

A court test of federal water law by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has implications for the American West.

One Way to Ease California Drought: Recycle Wastewater For Irrigation

Del Puerto Water District to buy a third of its water supply from Modesto and Turlock treatment plants.

Why Asking ‘How Much Rain Will End the Drought?’ Is the Wrong Question

People need to be in the equation too, says Circle of Blue report Brett Walton.

Oakland’s Water Treatment Plant Generates Its Own Energy and Then Some

Plant is at the center of a big move to also solve city’s solid waste problem.

Oakland’s Web of Waters Shapes New Economy, Civic Energy

A nationally significant program of storm water management daylights streams, renovates a centerpiece lake, restores an estuary, and empowers a West Coast city.

California Fire Danger Mounts in Sierra Nevada Forests

Bark beetles, water scarcity, and dying trees herald a region in ecological transition during the height of state's four-year drought.

Slideshow: Faces of Tulare County’s Drinking Water Crisis

The Central Valley farming county has the highest number of dry wells in California.

In California’s Central Valley, Dry Wells Multiply in the Summer Heat

Tulare County continues to be the center of the drought’s drinking water crisis.

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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)

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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