U.S. Water
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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CADWR_SnowSurvey040114

Sierra Nevada snowpack, a major part of California’s water supply equation, is near record lows.

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Fancy machinery and irrigation systems that pull millions of gallons per day from the nation’s largest aquifer have transformed the High Plains. But at what cost? Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton spoke with Julene Bair, author of The Ogallala Road, a memoir of a life shaped by land and water.

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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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Covering about 88 percent of the lakes on February 13, the ice has implications for water levels, shipping and fisheries.

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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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Folsom1000

California’s record drought prompts water districts to increase conservation spending, drain rainy day funds, and dramatically swell water rates.

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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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shutterstock_98566043

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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Grain is the economic fulcrum for towns that dot the Great Plains. But growing the millions of bushels of corn, soybeans, and wheat is slowly draining the region's primary water source, the Ogallala Aquifer. Unless consumption rates change, some prime farming regions in Kansas and Texas have only a few decades of water remaining.

Federal law influences the demand for water in the Great Plains. The 1996 U.S. farm bill removed most government incentives for farmers to grow particular crops, freeing them to chase market prices.

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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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Chinahaze_tmo_2013341

During presentations this week at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, announced that the region’s most visible signs of drought – shrinking reservoirs – are dwarfed by groundwater losses.

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