North America
A golden circle, this one near Edson, Kansas, is the tell-tale sign of an irrigated corn field ready for harvest. Farmers in the Great Plains produce some of the highest corn yields in the world thanks in part to abundant water supplies from the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer, however, is draining away because more water is pumped out than filters back in.

Using less water for agriculture is an idea spreading across the Great Plains.

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Texas drought Dust Bowl agriculture Great Plains

Strong winds and dry soils are a frightful combination.

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drought-history

The current three-year dry cycle is the state’s worst ever.

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ca-drought-map

One of the world’s largest canal systems moves billions of gallons of water to where it does not naturally flow.

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ogallala-banner-drought

Rainfall deficit is worse than the 1930s Dust Bowl.

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ExtremeRain

The Southwest is drying out, while the Northeast is becoming wetter.

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video-tutorial

Watch this tutorial to learn how to use Circle of Blue’s Google Fusion Tables maps that show changes in California’s water use over the last two decades and how these trends relate to population demographics and water contamination from arsenic.

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live-historic-data

Watch this short tutorial to learn how to use Qlikview’s tool that was endorsed by the White House Climate Initiative.

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arsenic-map

Click through the interactive Google Fusion Tables infographic to see how water pollution in California’s Central Valley has changed in the last decade and how these trends relate to population demographics.

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banner-water-use

Click through the interactive Google Fusion Tables infographic to see how California’s water use has changed over the last two decades and how these trends relate to population demographics and water contamination.

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GWChange2013-14

The biggest declines are in the San Joaquin Valley and in metropolitan Southern California.

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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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8740853295_68b357fb45_z

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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Julene Bair author photo (credit Stephen Collector)

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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