Business
©JGanter_Illinois_farms_MG_2437-1000

Irrigated agriculture’s march into Midwest and South could increase competition for water.

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Record reductions in river flows will be offset by pumping more water from aquifers.

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Toxic Algae

Lake continues trend of harmful and unsightly effect of nutrient pollution.

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Hydro Resources, a well-drilling contractor, works around the clock to punch new holes in the Ogallala Aquifer in Kansas. The Ogallala, the primary water source in the Great Plains, is declining because billions of gallons are pumped out each year to irrigate corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

A plan to reduce water use by 20 percent was voted down last week.

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A golden circle, this one near Edson, Kansas, is the tell-tale sign of an irrigated corn field ready for harvest. Farmers in the Great Plains produce some of the highest corn yields in the world thanks in part to abundant water supplies from the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer, however, is draining away because more water is pumped out than filters back in.

Using less water for agriculture is an idea spreading across the Great Plains.

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Agriculture may do better this year than expected, researchers say. But at a long-term cost.

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Workers walk through the mechanical room underneath the membrane filters.

Why? Old pipes, clean water regulations, and years of inadequate investment.

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ogallala-banner-drought

Rainfall deficit is worse than the 1930s Dust Bowl.

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IMG_5347

Report calls for new Himalayan development policy; stirs political battle in New Delhi.

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WaterPricing2014GraphsFinal-1

Water scarcity and successful conservation programs force utilities to adapt their business plans.

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ExtremeRain

The Southwest is drying out, while the Northeast is becoming wetter.

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BristolBayWatershed

U.S. agency moves to restrict development in Bristol Bay watershed.

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vinyard

Benefits go to agriculture, but won’t help cities.

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USGS-GRACE-GW

Snow is scarce, reservoirs are approaching bottom, and groundwater is being exhausted in the nation’s most populous state. More than a dozen communities face water shortages in the next 60 to 100 days, and there will be zero water deliveries from the state’s largest canal system this year.

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NASABrazilAgriculture

A new study from the World Resources Institute shows the connection between crops and water scarcity.

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A new study finds that Australia’s groundwater contributes more to GDP than some industries.

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©JGanter_Austin_2013_G3_0395.JPG

With the amount of reliable water in reservoirs shrinking, water agencies set sights on groundwater transfers and more reservoirs.

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Kansas-Aqueduct-Map

In addition to reducing demand from its key aquifer, Kansas wants to study the cost of importing water to the High Plains. But will this cause conflict with neighboring states that also use the river?

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Central Arizona Project irrigation groundwater Colorado River farmland fallowing Arizona Yuma Mesa

A pilot project will test how much water can be saved by not growing crops.

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Kansas farm

Not all is gloom and doom for the famed underground water resource that lubricates farm economies in the Great Plains.

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