U.S. Drought
lake powell_62923969

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

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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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CADWR_SnowSurvey040114

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

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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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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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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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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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©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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©JGanter_NewMexico_cabezon590

Reservoirs are nearly empty, wells are being drilled deeper, and litigation abounds.

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2011 Texas drought Lake Whitney590

Most of the water evaporated from soils, according to new research using satellite data.

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USDA_flying w ranch

When residents in Santa Fe, New Mexico pay their water bills, they are now also paying for forest restoration.

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JGanter-IowaFarm_G3_9549

Dwindling water supplies, low grain supplies, high prices for bread, meat, milk are outcomes of one of the worst droughts in the American history.

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cattle

U.S. consumers have just started to feel the effects of last summer’s drought at the supermarket. Prices are expected to continue increasing throughout 2013.

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Cotton sorghum agriculture farming irrigation Ogallala Aquifer water Texas USDA

Though corn acreage is forecasted to rise slightly over last year’s planting, the biggest jump is predicted for sorghum, which uses less water.

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