Water Policy
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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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asian-carp

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

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The Rapid Destruction of the Mesopotamian Marshlands

The inauguration of Iraq’s first national park earlier this summer represents a step toward national rebuilding for the war-torn country. But restoration of Iraq’s marshes also offers a grander vision for regional water cooperation throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.

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India Punjab

Farm policies intended to remove risk from the grain-producing economy have pulled India from the perennial fear of famine. But inefficient bureaucracy and rampant corruption also promote the squandering of resources and a glut of food that is not reaching the poor.

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Punjab irrigation water well electric pump farm farming wheat crop rice paddy water table aquifer electricity generation Choke Point India water food energy nexus Circle of Blue Wilson Center Punjab Title: Irrigation well in Punjab, India

Thanks in large part to the Green Revolution that catalyzed grain production in the mid-1960s, India ended the perennial fear of famine. But achieving food abundance has overwhelmed India’s mammoth and unwieldy bureaucracy, drained its freshwater reserves, and strained the energy sector and electrical grid.

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australia-water-trading

Learn more about the history of trading water in Australia’s three markets in this infographic.

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pricing

Would giving water a price help to limit its demand or would this invite abuse against what the United Nations has called a basic human right? Circle of Blue spoke with Brian Richter, of The Nature Conservancy, and Frederick Kaufman, a journalism professor and an author, about their opposing viewpoints.

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Limited water supplies and competing agricultural, environmental, industrial, and municipal interests challenge Australia’s water-trading system.

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USACE Sandy levee repair

Water utilities prepare for bigger storms and rising seas.

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Patricia Mulroy, general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, addresses the 5th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference.

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cow

The U.S. farm sector, more productive and richer than ever, is a major water polluter.

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Silt in the Anacostia River

A sampling of 81,000 images — taken by more than 100 photographers and sponsored by the young EPA — to document the state of the nation’s environment in the 1970s.

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The Hartford, Connecticut riverfront, once polluted and unappealing, now draws nearly a million visitors each year. A riverside plaza, shown here, hosts concerts and festivals and is connected to downtown by a promenade over Interstate 91.

Today, the Clean Water Act is 40 years old. Though it brought substantial benefits to urban areas, water quality problems — some old, some new — persist in the United States.

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Colorado River 23 Swimming Pools

A bird’s eye view of the Colorado River demonstrates how persistent drought conditions affect the basin and how the southern Nevada region manages its share of what trickles down.

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Patricia Mulroy, general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, talks with Circle of Blue at the 5th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference.

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The 67th session of the UN General Assembly, which ended on Monday, featured a number of globally prominent leaders worried about the planet’s water supply and quality.

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Cauvery-River-near-Srirangapatna8

A decades-long quarrel over water allocations boils up again during this year’s dry summer, ending in farmer protests and increased security.

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grain elevator, corn, prescott, kansas, usda, u.s. department of agriculture, 2012 drought, water rights, rivers

As the 2012 drought smothers the Great Plains, Kansas water laws — written to steady the economy, ecology, and use — are actually working.

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The drought that set upon the United States this year has tightened a three-state tug-of-war over fresh water, affecting marine life and a valuable fishing economy downstream in the Deep South’s Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, the most biodiverse river system in North America.

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georgia-water-timeline

It is not clear whether any of the new policy, planning, and supply initiatives are making a difference.

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