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Choke Point: India - The Leopard in the Well

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October 23: 500,000 People Endangered by Honduras Drought

Water & Food
Central America, Africa, Pacific

More than half a million people in Honduras and 3 million people in Central America are facing hunger due to a drought that has destroyed crops and caused food prices to spike, according to the Red Cross, Reuters reported. The conditions are forcing more people to migrate or sell assets like livestock.

Climate change presents an opportunity for Africa to embrace innovative agricultural and industrial technologies that save energy and water, Inter Press Service reported. Agriculture, in particular, should be targeted for sustainable development as it employs more than 70 percent of Africa’s population, according to United Nations experts.

In an effort to improve food security and nutrition, Timor-Leste and New Zealand are working together on a $US 4 million project to increase aquaculture production, FIS reported. Timor-Leste hopes to increase per capita fish consumption from 6 kilograms to 15 kilograms by 2020.

Water Infrastructure
Asia, Middle East, South America

Despite two previous rejections, India recently approved the 3,000-megawatt Dibang dam, which will be the largest in the country, the Guardian reported. The dam faces stiff opposition from local communities concerned about the 4,3000 hectares of forest its reservoir will submerge in Arunachal Pradesh state.

The largest desalination project in Iraq was recently expanded to include pre-treatment facilities, expected to greatly improve the quality of drinking water in the city of Basra, Bloomberg News reported. The desalination plant will have the capacity to provide 199,000 cubic meters of treated water each day, and will be completed in 2017.

Water prices in rural interior regions of Peru are as much as 25 times more than those in Lima, Peru This Week reported. A lack of investment in water supply and water treatment infrastructure has led to poor water service and high prices, according to officials.

Pollution
North America

There are at least 46,000 abandoned mines in the United States and may be as many as half a million, all potential sources of water and soil pollution, the Center for Investigative Reporting found. Heavy rains in Arizona, for example, recently washed old mine sludge into state park waterways.

Conservation
Europe

An estimated 2 million birds migrating through wetlands along the shores of the Adriatic Sea are shot by illegal hunters each year, Yale Environment 360 reported. Some of the most important wetlands, in Albania’s Buna Delta, are being overrun by poachers despite national and international legal protections.

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Water News

Newest Article

Report: U.S. Water Systems, Deteriorated and Slow to Change, Need New Strategy – And Money

More of the same is not working in changed conditions of the 21st century.

Jerry Brown, Smart and Prepared, Responds to California’s Drought Emergency

Steeled by past drought, governor is reshaping how largest U.S. state uses and distributes water.

Michigan Aquaculture, an Infant Industry, Attracts Powerful Opposition

Quest for protein and profits invites challenge about pollution and waste.

Video: Global Choke Point — On the Front Lines of the Water-Food-Energy Crisis

Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center team up for a Global Choke Point presentation.

Californians Ring In New Water Year with Trepidation

Pervasive fear about consequences of another dry winter.

World Stands By As Algae and Dead Zones Ruin Water

Expensive research and cleanup efforts make little headway.

Western U.S. Governors Begin Drought Discussions

Better plans and more data are needed to guide response.

Despite Delays and Billions in Overruns, Olmsted Locks and Dam Project Rolls On

Ohio River project is departure for funds-starved U.S. water infrastructure installations.

New Federal Rules Expand Ways to Keep Prescription Drugs out of Waterways

Pharmacies, hospitals, and distributors are now authorized to collect narcotics, opiates, and other “controlled” drugs.

Great Lakes States to Track Asian Carp and Prepare for Future Invasions

Using invasive carp already present in Lake Erie, agencies practice response for more damaging species.

Ogallala Groundwater Study Will Set Stage for Colorado Water Conservation Debate

Farmers want to know the economic and social ramifications of reducing groundwater use.

More Trees Mean Less Water for California’s Mountain Rivers

If global warming increases vegetation in high mountain zones, less water might be available for rivers.

Circle of Blue Live From Stockholm World Water Week

Three Choke Point sessions on the fierce competition between water, food and energy.

Detroit Water Shutoffs Resume; Bankruptcy Lawyers and Banks Cash In

Attorneys and finance specialists collect tens of millions in fees.

California’s Dogged Drought Cutting Off Water Supplies to State’s Poor

Farmers are guzzling groundwater while wells of families run dry.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

Social Media Is Not Easy

Social Media Is Not Easy

After being named the Guardian’s #1 Twitter pick for #waternews, outreach coordinator Aubrey Ann Parker explains our winning strategy.

Business, Finance Leaders Address U.S. Water Policy

From markets and higher prices, better water systems will flow, they say.

Showing Off Circle of Blue Colleagues and Reporting in Traverse City

World-changing reporting fresh from northern Michigan.

Matt Black’s California Drought Photographs Featured in New Yorker

Circle of Blue photographer documents Central Valley water shortage.

Great Lakes Mayors Ask State and Federal Governments to Step Up On Algae

Drinking water summit focuses on Toledo water crisis.

Celebrating with a Blue Streak

A new member of the Circle of Blue team introduces herself.

California Governor Comes Full Circle on Groundwater Reform

New laws signed today address challenges highlighted in Jerry Brown’s first term – in the 1970s.

Making Water Stress a ‘Wedge’ Issue

A new approach puts people at the center of the water discussion.

In Nepal, Deadly Landslide Has Calmer Second Act

Dammed by the landslide, the Sun Koshi River breaks free.

World Water Week Offers Answers To Scarcity, Pollution, and Security

Stockholm hosts largest-ever international conference on global contest for water and energy.

Circle of Blue Live From Stockholm World Water Week

Three Choke Point sessions on the fierce competition between water, food and energy.

Lake Erie Algae Bloom Hits Pelee Island, Moves Toward Sandusky

Lake Erie algae alive and well.

California Senate Passes Groundwater Reform Legislation

The Assembly votes on Thursday.

USGS Report: California Freshwater Withdrawals Are Lowest Since 1960s

Californians are taking less water out of rivers, lakes, and aquifers.

Circle of Blue Wins Society of Environmental Journalists Awards for Reporting and Photojournalism

Coverage of “the world’s quest for water” is timely, intimate, and dramatic.

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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)


    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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