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U.S. Drought
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Era of ample water supply and cheap prices is ending.

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State and local water administrators face supply emergency that is tightening.

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Another dry winter forces political pressure for action.

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The Central Valley prepares for an unprecedented shortage.

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Competition for water prompts a quest for new sources.

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Colorado River 13 Lake Havasu

Droughts that are extreme by today’s standards will be normal by the end of the century, according to NASA research.

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Snow survey

Snowpack in the already-parched state is near record lows, just 25 percent of normal.

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Most aquifers in the state have dropped to record lows.

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Just look at the Texas drought — California could be waiting years to recover.

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

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Better plans and more data are needed to guide response.

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Farmers are guzzling groundwater while wells of families run dry.

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New rules seek sustainable use, but the details will be written later by local agencies.

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

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Colorado River 8

Groundwater losses during historic drought equal one and a half times the volume of a full Lake Mead.

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

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breaking point

Completed in 1935, Hoover Dam supplies electricity to 29 million people in Arizona, California and Nevada.

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Along the 1,800-mile river basin,locals wrestle with water demands.

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Despite drying conditions, four states plan additional water projects.

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Dropping water tables and a shorted pump resulted in Louis Coronado's water well going dry. He said he was unable to contract a professional driller because they are busy drilling new wells for area farmers, so built this scaffolding and repaired the well himself.

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

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