Policy + Politics
lake powell_62923969

Unprepared for more years of drought, basin states work to preserve Lake Powell.

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BristolBayWatershed

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

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Abe Sanchez, a mechanic at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant, looks for the source of a small water leak in one of the facility's massive electrical pumps.

A landmark management plan brings together state and federal agencies to prioritize human health, water quality, and fish.

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New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes.

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ELA Lakes general1000

A legendary freshwater research facility in western Ontario has a new operator.

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menindeelakelevels_big

California, in the third year of its worst drought ever, faces challenges similar to those of Australia. A panel of water policy experts and Circle of Blue journalists questioned whether the nation’s most populous state has the resolve to enact similar reforms.

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SanLuis1000

State leaders face infrastructure decisions now that will have consequences for decades.

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021514_potus_drought

The National Integrated Drought Information System puts federal data in the hands of farmers, state officials, and businesses.

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vinyard

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

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jerry-brown

Gov. Jerry Brown introduced a $US 687 million emergency spending bill Wednesday as his office works on comprehensive groundwater reform.

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An overview map of the Central Valley project at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant, a federal facility which supplies water to the project's network of irrigation canals and reservoirs.

President Obama urges cooperation. But Republican opposition and a maze of state plans are causing a frantic confusion, while vulnerable farmers see immediate and long-term pain.

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A dry irrigation ditch on the edge of the historic Tulare Lake Basin in California's Central Valley. Photo by Matt Black

The president announces $US 1.2 billion for those affected by severe weather now and proposes $US 1 billion more for adaptation and research.

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Seven states will release a water plan — either in draft or final form — this year, and at least six other states are talking about updating existing plans or creating a first-ever plan. For context, only two states released water plans in 2013 and five in 2012.

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PRISM_Jan21precip

After a dry 2013, reservoirs are near record lows for the start of a calendar year, setting the table for widespread water restrictions, reduced agricultural and energy production, and political bickering in 2014.

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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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asian-carp

Plans to stop the invasive fish are costly, and most take more than 10 years to complete.

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Black Volta River

Though three more ratifications are needed before the UN Watercourses Convention has the force of international law, advocates assert that four countries are close: Ireland, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

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

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

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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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