Cause of Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms Gains More Certainty

New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes. Image courtesy NOAA CoastWatch A MODIS satellite image shows Lake Erie’s algal bloom in October, 2011. Click image to enlarge. By Codi Kozacek Circle of Blue Changes in the timing and method of applying agricultural fertilizer […]

Oil is cleaned off a bird at a animal rehabilitation center following the 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan. The largest inland spill in U.S. history originated from Enbridge's ruptured Line 6B.
In Great Lakes, Reports Offer Reassurance and Warnings About Oil Pipeline Safety

Three studies reach differing conclusions about the vulnerability of water and land Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources Oil is cleaned off a bird at a animal rehabilitation center following the 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan. The largest inland spill in U.S. history originated from Enbridge's ruptured Line 6B. Click image to enlarge. […]

Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, is the largest shipper of Canadian crude oil, built and operates the twin, 20-inch-diameter steel pipelines, about 1,000 feet apart, that cross the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan. The company's holdings include this tank farm in Edmonton, Alberta. Photo/Keith Schneider
Oil Pipeline, Long Submerged in Michigan’s Deep Waters, Fuels Public Concern

A rally in St. Ignace on July 14 draws attention to the risks of ruptures and leaks when transporting fossil fuels through the Great Lakes.

S.S. Superior at the Port of Chicago
Report: Water Levels Hit Record Lows in Two Great Lakes, Wildlife Struggles to Cope with Changing Climate

Drought and reduced winter ice cover are contributing to declining water levels in the Great Lakes. As lakes Michigan and Huron hit record lows, a new report outlines what changes like this could mean for the region’s flora and fauna.

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No Clear Path for Energy Policy in Great Lakes States

Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania governments struggle with climate change, budgets, and changing markets.

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Great Lakes Ports and Shipping Companies Confounded by Climate Changes and Water Levels

With freighters forced to carry lighter loads, port structures damaged by rot, ship cannels that are filling with silt, there are millions of dollars in losses, repairs, and dredging — but scientists are working on adaptation solutions and planning resilience.

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Great Lakes Featured

Newest Article

Cause of Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms Gains More Certainty

New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes. Image courtesy NOAA CoastWatch A MODIS satellite image shows Lake Erie’s algal bloom in October, 2011. Click image to enlarge. By Codi Kozacek Circle of Blue Changes in the timing and method of applying agricultural fertilizer […]

In Great Lakes, Reports Offer Reassurance and Warnings About Oil Pipeline Safety

Three studies reach differing conclusions about the vulnerability of water and land Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources Oil is cleaned off a bird at a animal rehabilitation center following the 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan. The largest inland spill in U.S. history originated from Enbridge's ruptured Line 6B. Click image to enlarge. […]

Oil Pipeline, Long Submerged in Michigan’s Deep Waters, Fuels Public Concern

A rally in St. Ignace on July 14 draws attention to the risks of ruptures and leaks when transporting fossil fuels through the Great Lakes.

Report: Water Levels Hit Record Lows in Two Great Lakes, Wildlife Struggles to Cope with Changing Climate

Drought and reduced winter ice cover are contributing to declining water levels in the Great Lakes. As lakes Michigan and Huron hit record lows, a new report outlines what changes like this could mean for the region’s flora and fauna.

No Clear Path for Energy Policy in Great Lakes States

Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania governments struggle with climate change, budgets, and changing markets.

Great Lakes Ports and Shipping Companies Confounded by Climate Changes and Water Levels

With freighters forced to carry lighter loads, port structures damaged by rot, ship cannels that are filling with silt, there are millions of dollars in losses, repairs, and dredging — but scientists are working on adaptation solutions and planning resilience.

Clean Energy Picture Dramatically Changed For Midwest, As U.S. Fossil Energy Boom Gathers Steam

With the price of natural gas falling thanks to innovating drilling solutions in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, investments in water-sipping energy models like wind and solar have dried up.

Fossil Fuel Boom Shakes Ohio, Spurring Torrent of Investment and Worry Over Water

Ohio’s shale oil and gas fortunes point up. By Keith Schneider and Codi Yeager Circle of Blue Photo © Codi Yeager/Circle of Blue The site of a proposed $US 3 billion natural-gas-to-liquids plant near Wellsville, Ohio, heralds what many say is the state’s most significant investment in oil and gas development in decades. But the […]

Connected by Pipeline from Canada, Tar Sands Represents Bonus and Risk to Great Lakes

Transporting and processing corrosive crude raise new questions about consequences.

Water Law: Public Trust May Be Fresh Approach to Protecting Great Lakes

Canadian and American advocates join to promote big oversight idea of the "commons."

Where Food Grows on Water: Environmental and Human Threats to Wisconsin’s Wild Rice

For generations, the upper Great Lakes region has boasted harvests of wild rice, growing in Lake Superior and other watersheds within the basin. But disease, dams, and climate change are now endangering the uncultivated bounty.

A Midwest Pipeline Rupture Raises Questions About Tar Sands Risk

Enbridge is working overtime to clean up the spill, placate the community, and get oil flowing again.

Pipeline Ties Detroit Refinery to “Dirtiest Source of Fossil Fuels”

State department says oil is needed; Congress leader joins activists in raising concerns.

In Detroit: No Money, No Water

Water Department cuts connections to thousands of city’s poor.

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Multimedia

Newest Article

Infographic: Climate Change in the Great Lakes

How will predicted changes to water levels and water temperatures affect the future of this region that is home to 8 million people?

Photo Slideshow: Great Lakes Pollution, Ed Wargin’s Fresh Coast Project

The Fresh Coast Project, an ambitious 10-year, around-the-lakes journey that captures the Great Lakes on film, was created by photographer Ed Wargin to visualize the lakes and streams as one stunning, connected, living story. But Wargin captures the good with the bad, in this series of exclusive photos showing the pollution he found during his travels.

Photo Slideshow: Great Lakes Beauty, Ed Wargin’s Fresh Coast Project

The Fresh Coast Project, an ambitious 10-year, around-the-lakes journey that captures the Great Lakes on film, was created by photographer Ed Wargin to visualize the lakes and streams as one stunning, connected, living story.

Video: Mapping Grand Traverse Bay with the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute

A narrated photo gallery of a day on the bay.

Infographic: Wild Rice is Keystone Species for Upper Great Lakes Region

Wild Rice is an aquatic grass that is harvested annually for its nutritious grain. Throughout its growth cycle, wild rice encounters many external threats, both environmental and human-made, which are being compounded by the effects of climate change. Click through the interactive infographic below to learn more about the growth cycle of wild rice, as […]

Video: WaterLife Director Kevin McMahon Tells the Story of the Great Lakes

A cinematic survey of the state of the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States.

Video: James Olson Discusses the Great Lakes Compact

In an interview with Circle of Blue, James M. Olson discusses the Great Lakes Compact: an international agreement intended to protect the Great Lakes Basin.

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Asian Carp

Newest Article

Study: Army Corps of Engineers Release Ways to Keep Asian Carp Out of Great Lakes

Study: Army Corps of Engineers Release Ways to Keep Asian Carp Out of Great Lakes

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

Report: Fish Analysis Reveals Asian Carp Have Reproduced in Great Lakes Watershed

A new study shows grass carp reproduced at least once in the Sandusky River, but it cannot confirm an established population.

Report: Why Asian Carp eDNA Still Matters in the Fight for the Great Lakes

Researchers see great promise in eDNA testing to detect invasive and rare species at low abundance — including invasive Asian carp — but refining the tool is a long process.

After Summer of Testing, Status of Asian Carp in Lake Erie Remains Uncertain

Positive test results for Asian carp eDNA from Lake Erie's Sandusky and Maumee bays are worrying, but not conclusive.

Has the Invasion Started? Asian Carp eDNA Found in Lake Erie

While federal efforts are largely focused on stonewalling invasive Asian carp at Chicago, the fish could be making their way into the Great Lakes through Lake Erie, where studies show they are likely to thrive.

U.S. Congress to Get Asian Carp Solutions by 2013, Two Years Ahead of Schedule

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking steps to speed up its recommendations for keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes — but will its actions be quick enough to stop Asian carp? Photo by Jason Lindsey By Codi Yeager Circle of Blue By the end of next year, the United States Army […]

Third Time’s Not A Charm: U.S. Supreme Court Again Denies Request to Stop Asian Carp

The Supreme Court denied a request by five states that were calling for immediate action to stop invasive Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes. This is the third time that the court has denied an injunction for the Asian carp case.

Study Outlines Plans to Stop Asian Carp at Chicago

Three proposals for separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River watershed could block the flow of aquatic invasive species while re-envisioning water management in Chicago, a new study says. Image courtesy Great Lakes Commission The three separation alternatives include a down-river single barrier, a mid-system alternative of four barriers on CAWS branches between Lockport […]

Advance of the Invader: Asian Carp Continue March to Northern Waters

Live carp have been found in North Dakota and past the electric barriers in Chicago. As the carp push forward, Michigan and other Great Lakes states are once again asking the U.S. Supreme Court to speed up action to stop the advance of the invader.

Feds Pledge $47 Million To Asian Carp Fight; States Appeal Court Loss

Last week, the Obama Administration announced an updated plan, which included additional research but not closing the Chicago locks.

Asian Carp — On the Docket in D.C. and Chicago; On the Menu in Michigan

Federal judge rejects Asian carp injunction as Congress passes a ban on their import.

Great Lakes Threats Go Beyond Asian Carp, Invasive Expert Says

Dr. Reuben Keller calls for long-term solutions to protect the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

Illinois Company Receives Grant to Export Asian Carp to China

Asian carp are heading home, 40,000 pounds at a time.

Asian Carp Czar Outlines Plan to Eradicate Invasive Fish

Announcement comes, as Canada plans joint effort with the United States to study the threat posed to the Great Lakes

U.S. Gains Carp Czar, Court Hears Testimony on the Invasive Fish

The newly appointed czar says he's undecided on separating the infested Mississippi and Illinois rivers from Lake Michigan.

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Climate, Energy, and Environment

Newest Article

Cause of Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms Gains More Certainty

New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes. Image courtesy NOAA CoastWatch A MODIS satellite image shows Lake Erie’s algal bloom in October, 2011. Click image to enlarge. By Codi Kozacek Circle of Blue Changes in the timing and method of applying agricultural fertilizer […]

Great Lakes Ice Cover Most Extensive in 20 Years

Covering about 88 percent of the lakes on February 13, the ice has implications for water levels, shipping and fisheries. Photo ©J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue Wind and waves have created otherworldly ice formations along the shores of Lake Michigan near Leland, Mich. Click image to enlarge. By Codi Kozacek Circle of Blue […]

Rio Tinto’s Michigan Nickel Mine Introduces Citizen Water Quality Testing Program

Despite skepticism, company agrees to finance environmental monitoring at Eagle Mine

In Great Lakes, Reports Offer Reassurance and Warnings About Oil Pipeline Safety

Three studies reach differing conclusions about the vulnerability of water and land Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources Oil is cleaned off a bird at a animal rehabilitation center following the 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan. The largest inland spill in U.S. history originated from Enbridge's ruptured Line 6B. Click image to enlarge. […]

Great Lakes Map Shows Greatest Ecosystem Stress in Lakes Erie and Ontario

Researchers hope the map is used to plan restoration projects that provide the greatest human benefits. Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping Project This map shows the cumulative environmental stress in the Great Lakes from 34 factors, including climate change, invasive species, and coastal development.Click image to enlarge. Brett Walton Circle of Blue A first-of-its-kind […]

Report & Conference: Assessing Great Lakes Health and Future — Al Gore Delivers Keynote

In Detroit last week, three organizations involved in Great Lakes management held concurrent and joint meetings to discuss the future of one of the world’s largest sources of fresh surface water. Former Vice President Al Gore delivered the keynote address, linking climate change to water issues.

Study: NASA Shows World’s Water is Warming, Buoy Data Confirms in Great Lakes

In some northern regions, lake temperatures are increasing more than air temperatures.

Great Lakes Cleanup to Get $2.2 Billion in Federal Funding

The EPA plan aims to clean up top pollution sites and establish a “zero tolerance policy” toward invasive species

Michigan Group Seeks to Curtail Great Lakes Mining

A Michigan environmental advocacy group is collecting signatures for a ballot measure to limit mining around the Great Lakes. The group, the Michigan Save Our Water Committee, hopes to collect 400,000 signatures on a statewide petition by May so its question will make the 2010 general election ballot.

Coal Ash: Town’s Toxic Water Embodies National Challenge

Dirty legacy contaminates groundwater of an Indiana town.

Great Lakes Wind Turbines Could Someday Power the Midwest

Hundreds of thousands of wind turbines could someday stretch across the vast shorelines of the Great Lakes, promising clean renewable energy for the entire upper Midwest. The ambitious plan may still be decades from fruition, but early studies show great potential. In the latest installment of an ongoing $1 million feasibility study focusing on Lake […]

U.S. Faces Era Of Water Scarcity

Profligate use hurts in unexpected places Quest for new supplies nationwide UPDATE: Please read our 2009 update on water problems in the US. Striking symbols of American engineering prowess, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam stand in testimony to the U.S. spirit of growth and prosperity. But the 28.5 million acre feet Lake Mead is […]

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Great Lakes Compact

Newest Article

Congress, Michigan Legislature Asked to Fix Leaks in Great Lakes Compact

It’s been more than a year since eight states agreed to prevent large-scale diversions from the Great Lakes, the most abundant source of clean freshwater on the planet. The passage of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, completed after ten years of campaigning by public interest organizations, legislative leaders, and governors of both parties, was meant to permanently secure the globally significant storehouse of water contained in the Great Lakes.

Waukesha’s Water Woes Herald Test of Great Lakes Compact

Milwaukee Water for Sale? Waukesha’s Water Woes Herald Test of Great Lakes CompactThe Great lakes Compact may be put to the test soon as the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin seeks permission to tap Lake Michigan's water supply.

Video: James Olson Discusses the Great Lakes Compact

In an interview with Circle of Blue, James M. Olson discusses the Great Lakes Compact: an international agreement intended to protect the Great Lakes Basin.

Great Lakes Compact flows through U.S. House On its Way to the President

Representatives remain worried about exemptions Sarah Haughn Circle of Blue As of Tuesday, grandiose visions of Lake Michigan pipelines pumping water to parched Arizona began withering in the wake of the congressionally approved Great Lakes Compact. With the Compact ratified, the Great Lakes Basin is one executive signature away from legislation that would prohibit outside […]

Great Lakes compact now moves to Congress

SAUGATUCK, Michigan – Michigan became the last state to approve the Great Lakes Compact on Wednesday, with Govern Granholm formally approving the compact. Before it can become official US policy however, the international treaty needs to move through the US Congress where expectations are high that it will pass, the Detroit Free Press reports. The […]

Q&A: James Olson on Great Lakes Compact, Water Privatization

Expert gives opinion on the international agreement intended to protect.

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The Stream & Federal Water Tap

Newest Article

Federal Water Tap, July 16: Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture

Climate change will have the greatest economic effect on crops in the Midwest’s Corn Belt states, where annual loses could range from US$1.1 billion to US$4.1 billion by 2030. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service used four climate projections, a crop-growth simulation, and a model for predicting how farmers would change their crop […]

The Stream, June 7: Drugs and Hormones in Water Supplies

Biochemistry Scientists at Idaho State University experimenting with a species of minnow found that low levels of antidepressants altered the genes associated with autism in humans, the New Scientist reports. Next, the researchers will test the effect on mice. Estrogen in wastewater lagoons on large dairy farms was shown to persist in water supplies for […]

The Stream, May 2: Great Lakes At Risk From Oil Spills, Study Says

United States The Great Lakes Watershed is at risk from potential oil spills due to inadequate federal regulations for pipelines, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation and The University of Michigan, UPI reported. In 2010, crude tar sand oil spilled from a ruptured pipe into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Ohio faces a […]

Federal Water Tap, April 2: Great Lakes Water and Wind

Rise and Fall The bilateral commission charged with coordinating U.S. and Canadian policies on the Great Lakes released a draft plan for regulating water levels in Lake Ontario. The proposal will keep the lake closer to natural flow patterns: water levels during high and average conditions will be kept higher, and kept lower under low […]

The Stream, March 30: Great Lakes Water Levels

A new report by a U.S.-Canadian advisory panel recommends against large-scale engineering projects to control the Great Lakes water levels, saying people across the region should instead adapt to nature’s swings, Detroit Free Press reported. Chicago has announced a $7 billion, three-year plan to transform the city’s infrastructure. The program, which will touch nearly every […]

The Stream, March 28: Diminishing Water Could Slow Clean Energy Development

Diminishing supplies of water, metals and biomass could slow the deployment of clean energy technologies by 2035, Reuters reported, citing a new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute and by business initiative 3C. Some low-carbon technologies use more water than conventional fuels. Read the policy brief to find out why cutting carbon emissions and saving […]

The Stream, March 19: The Water Factor in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

U.S. scientists are investigating whether DNA from Asian carp found in waterways near Chicago suggests that the invasive species have evaded the electronic barrier and are moving closer to the Great Lakes, Associated Press reported. China plans to produce 6.5 billion cubic meters (230 billion cubic feet) of shale gas annually by 2015 and increase […]

The Stream, March 9: Great Lakes Lose Ice

Ice coverage on the Great Lakes decreased 71 percent between 1973 and 2010, EarthSky reported, citing a study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published in the Journal of Climate. The lakes currently have only a 12 percent ice cover, less than a third of the ice cover present at this time last […]

The Stream, February 28: The Future of Water in Central Asia

Water Law The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by five U.S. states seeking an order requiring that additional steps be taken to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, Reuters reported. Poland has not yet complied with EU legislation on water protection, including the monitoring of water quality, the European Commission […]

The Stream, February 24: South Africa Invests in Energy

Energy South Africa may invest $78 billion in new nuclear power plants, a hydropower project and a coal-fired power plant in order to keep up with energy demand, Business Week reported. A European Union expert committee failed to reach a decision on a proposal that would label fuel from tar sands as highly polluting, pushing […]

The Stream, February 22: Africa’s Food Security

Water Quality Environmental degradation, including waste water discharge that is harming fisheries, is the greatest threat to food security in Africa, Xinhua reported. Proposed regulations for ballast water discharge in the Great Lakes will not do enough to stop invasive species, according to environmental groups, Reuters reported. The groups want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency […]

The Stream, February 15: The World’s Water Footprint

The United States is the world’s largest exporter, and one of the biggest importers, of virtual water, a measure of the water used to create products that are shipped abroad, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, which outlines the flow of water around the […]

The Stream, February 1: Reversing the Chicago River to Stop Asian Carp

United States Separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin in order to stop aquatic invasive species like Asian carp will require reversing the flow of the Chicago River, according to a new study sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Reuters reported. Whether or not […]

The Stream, December 30: Great Lakes Water Levels May Drop

Water levels are expected to rise on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in the next six months, but unusually warm winter temperatures may lead to less ice cover and more evaporation, ultimately reducing Great Lakes water levels, The Detroit News reported, citing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ latest forecast. Wasting natural resources, such as […]

The Stream, December 23: Water Concerns In Argentina

Water access and use are a concern in Argentina, where 11 percent of the population does not have a piped water source and the average consumption per person is more than three times that of Brazil, the Guardian reported, citing a study by Green Cross Argentina. Shell spilled an estimated 20,000 barrels of oil off […]

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In the Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

Great Lakes Algae Blooms: Lake Erie Respite, Lake Superior Rises

Photo courtesy of the University of Toledo. Not far from where I live in Benzie County, Michigan lies a network of shaded forest trails that end on the broad sand beaches of Lake Michigan’s Platte River Bay. In the distance, the steep flanks of the Sleeping Bear Dune dive to the Great Lake. Across the […]

Tracking Invasive Asian Carp: Where Are Those Flopping Fish?

An increasing percentage of eDNA samples, taken near Lake Michigan, are turning up positive for carp.

Commentary: Great Lakes As Sacred Spaces

In the battle between sacred places and commerce, the sacred rarely stands a chance.

Great Lakes Shrinking?

As drought grips much of the nation, the mighty Great Lakes are shrinking, the New York Times reports today, expanding upon an AP story published August 3 that also said Lake Superior is getting warmer. By Felicity Barringer, New York Times (Aug 14, 2007) – Water levels in the three upper Great Lakes are wavering […]

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Archives

Newest Article

Towards a Blue Economy: Michigan’s Freshwater Future

Midwest leader travels to Mideast to secure his state’s blue economy.

Compact Impact: Great Lakes Legislation Now Active

As the Great Lakes Compact goes into effect to protect Midwest waterways, some politicians call for unquestioning support, while others insist that its weaknesses must be addressed. Environmental attorney and activist Jim Olson continues his participation in the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, as Michigan State Senator Patty Birkholz rallies for unanimous acceptance. Source: Progress […]

Shipping Group Sings Ballast Water Blues, Regulations Remain

DULUTH, Minnesota — Zebra Mussels traveling into the Great Lakes region of the United States now need a passport. No longer shall they enjoy a free ride from ship to lake. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled in favor of states’ rights to regulate ballast water — water released from ships entering […]

Approved Great Lakes Compact Registers Ripple Effect Among Michigan Citizens

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — There’s a hole in our bucket, dear Congress, dear Congress. Or so concerned environmental groups in Michigan sing after the lauded passage of the Great Lakes Compact – legislation they believe needs a patch or two. The Compact, passed this October, prevents private and public interests from diverting large quantities of […]

Obama, With Emanuel, May Spell Greater Conservation Efforts for the Great Lakes

Advocacy groups and political analysts predict strong Great Lakes conservation and restoration policies under President-Elect Barack Obama, the Detroit Free Press reports. The appointment of Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) as Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, further bolsters these hopes. Cameron Davis, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and an Obama campaign advisor, told […]

Bush Signs Great Lakes Compact Into Law

President Bush added the final signatory touch to the long awaited Great Lakes Compact on Friday. Now it is up to the Great Lakes states to begin implementing the legislation. “Together, we have taken a major step to protect the Great Lakes. I am hopeful that this historic cooperation will enable us to accelerate our […]

Great Lakes Compact: Nestle Joins Bottled Water Exemption Debate

CHICAGO — The bottled water loophole in the Great Lakes Compact – an opening that initially worried lawyers, conservationists and concerned citizens — is inspiring corporations like Nestle to respond. “How do you define a product?” Nestle spokesperson Brian Flaherty asked the Washington Post. “Water goes into beer in Wisconsin and radiators in Detroit. Why […]

Senate Endorses Great Lakes Compact, Amid Growing Concern for Region’s Health

CHICAGO – After a decade of deliberation, the bill created to protect the Great Lakes Basin from interests that would divert the resource to water-starved regions of the country, is finally finding its way through Congress. According to the Chicago Tribune, Senate endorsed the Great Lakes Compact this past Friday. Cameron Davis, president of the […]

Senators Bicker Over Standards in Ballast Water Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While the Senate has moved to pass the Great Lakes Compact, it has stalled on legislation that would address the invasion of harmful non-indigenous species into the basin. The AP reports that Senator Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, is pushing to get clean-up standards established for the […]

Great Lakes Compact, Committed to Care of Congress, Receives Presidential Support

The Great Lakes Compact, a treaty that would prevent a majority of outside interests from diverting water from the Great Lakes Basin, is predicted to receive a hospitable hearing from Congress and has already been recognized with an executive head nod on Capitol Hill. According to a broadcast by Chicago Public Radio, the Compact will […]

Appellate Court Blasts Ballast Water Dumping in Great Lakes

An appeals court in California upheld the decision to bar ships passing through the Great Lakes from discharging ballast water on their way to or from the ocean, an article in Democrat and Chronicle announces. New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, said the “decision is a huge win in protecting New York state’s Great Lakes […]

Op-ed: Though the Compact is Signed, Great Lakes are Still at Risk

TOLEDO, Ohio — What seems like a near-perfect deal to protect the Great Lakes watershed deserves further thought, suggests Dave Dempsey in and editorial published in the Toledo Blade: The Great Lakes Compact took 10 years to write and pass, generated a thousand adoring news releases, and now goes off to Washington for what the […]

For Environmentalists and Economists, Great Lakes Awash in Opportunity

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan — “How do you ‘brand’ water? If anyone has an answer to that question, its journalist and Traverse City native, J. Carl Ganter. Ganter is the executive director of an ambitious international non-profit, Circle of Blue, addressing the dangers – and opportunities – lapping at the issue of fresh water conservation. As […]

Wisconsin Passes Great Lakes Compact

MADISON, Wisconsin — Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature overwhelmingly approved the Great Lakes Compact on May 15th, sending it to Governor Jim Doyle and putting pressure on the states that have not yet ratified it. Source :The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Michigan Dips Toe Into Great Lakes Compact

LANSING, Michigan — Michigan’s House and Senate each passed bills Wednesday to protect Great Lakes water from diversion to thirsty outsiders in the future but stopped short of approving legislation required to implement the eight-state Great Lakes Regional Compact. Environmental groups said the move was a step forward, but without teeth. Source : The Detroit […]

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Water Law Stories

Newest Article

Asian Carp Case Goes to Court as Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Protect the Great Lakes

Invasive Asian carp make a surprise appearance on the Missouri River.

EPA Releases Draft of Clean Water Strategy for Public Comment

The EPA seeks stricter pollution standards and a national water quality assessment.

Lawmakers Pass Bill to Protect Argentina’s Glaciers

Bill passes that will ban mining and oil drilling in Andean ice fields.

Peter Gleick: The California Water Bond — What Does Proposition 18 Really Say and Do?

The costs and benefits of California's largest water bond in a half century have not been fully assessed by an independent organization.

Countries Move Forward with Nile Treaty Despite Egypt’s Objections

A weekend meeting of the Nile basin water ministers does not resolve treaty impasse.

Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Water Territories and the Politics of Scale and Identity

An excerpt from the introductory chapter of Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity, a book on the effect modern society has on water culture and indigenous communities

Environmental Groups Sue BP Under Clean Water Act

Landmark act could be used by the federal government to recover billions in fines, send people to jail.

Clean Water Act Proposal Would Strengthen Federal Protection

Opponents call the proposal a federal power grab, while the bill's author says it would restore the original intent of the landmark water legislation.

Indigenous Groups in Ecuador Protest Water Reform Bill

The water legislation would consolidate too much power in the hands of the government, protesters say.

California Water Board Changes Power Plant Regulations to Protect Aquatic Life

Power plants will be required to change their cooling systems to reduce the amount of water they withdraw from oceans and estuaries as a result.

Nile Basin Countries Fail to Sign River Treaty Again

Egypt and Sudan have rejected the proposed Nile Basin agreement as it stands, while the other seven members vow to press on.

Bolivian Village Wants Compensation for Climate Change Adaptation

Alternative climate summit opens April 20 in Bolivia to address concerns of the world’s poor.

Bid to Protect Michigan’s Groundwater Draws Opposition, Praise

A proposed bill that declares Michigan’s groundwater a “public trust” has set off a storm of controversy, with opponents claiming that the legislation would expose property owners to new state fees.

Peter Gleick: Water and Energy – Obey the Law on Cooling Systems

The connections between energy and water are significant and complex. We use vast amounts of energy to collect, move, treat, use, and clean water. And we use vast amounts of water to produce energy, including for mining, drilling, and processing fossil and nuclear fuels, and especially for cooling power plants.

2009 California Water Plan Published

Report recommends upgrading the state's information base to better user understanding of the water system.

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Water Law Graphics

Newest Article

Infographic: China’s Water Pollution Events and Protection Policies (2004-2011)

Infographic: China’s Water Pollution Events and Protection Policies (2004-2011)

China has some of the dirtiest and most dangerous water in the world. This detailed and interactive timeline shows key pollution events, protests, and policy reforms from the last eight years at both the national and regional levels as China tries to clean up its act.

Infographic: Successes and Failures of China’s Five-Year Plans (1996 -2010)

A breakdown of previous plans gives context to the newly released 12th Five-Year Plan.

Infographic: China’s Water Governance Bureaucracy and Water Legislation Timeline

Demystifying China’s governmental water offices and water-related laws. China’s water is managed by a complex web of ministries, and national, sub-national, and cross-jurisdictional agencies. The dual leadership system—comprised of a territorial and a central government—has a hierarchy in which offices of the two bureaucracies with the same rank cannot issue binding orders to each other. […]

Infographic: State Legislatures Bridge Water-Energy Gap

A look at 16 states with statutes that acknowledge the tightening chokepoint between declining water resources and rising energy demand.

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Water Law International

Newest Article

Update: UN Transboundary Water Treaty Moves Forward As Cote d’Ivoire Approves Ratification

Update: UN Transboundary Water Treaty Moves Forward As Cote d’Ivoire Approves Ratification

Though three more ratifications are needed before the UN Watercourses Convention has the force of international law, advocates assert that four countries are close: Ireland, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

U.S. and Mexico Sign Major Deal on Colorado River Issues: Delta Restoration, Infrastructure, Water Sharing

The agreement marks a turn in Colorado River management. Senior officials from the United States and Mexico signed a broad five-year agreement on Tuesday that marks renewed cooperation over the Colorado River, a desert lifeline that provides water to at least 30 million people, irrigation to top agricultural counties, and electricity to millions — despite […]

Protests Break Out After India’s Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Downstream State in Cauvery River Dispute

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

Make Water A Priority: Former Government Leaders Call on UN Security Council

The time is increasingly right for high-level action, the group’s water policy advisor tells Circle of Blue. Photo courtesy of JC McIlwaine/UN Photo The United Nations Security Council met in October 2011 to hear a report on protecting water and natural resources in Somalia. A group of former world leaders wants the 15-member body to […]

Support for UN Water Treaty Accelerates

Progress on the treaty, which deals with transboundary water basins, or those shared by two or more countries, had stalled — until a major conservation group got involved.

India Supreme Court Again Pushes National River Linking Project to Proceed

This is the second time the court has promoted the mega-project that would link the major rivers in the north with those in the south as a way to better manage water, moving it from areas of perceived surplus to areas without sufficient supplies.

Ecuador and Oil: Chevron Loses Court Appeal Against $18 Billion Amazon Pollution Fine

Closing in on nearly two decades in court, this “David and Goliath” fight seems far from over. Plaintiffs contend that no amount of money can repair the damage to the environment and to the lives of the 30,000 who claim to have been affected, while the U.S. oil company has denounced the Ecuadorean court system […]

James Workman: Mandela’s Global Water Ambassador Dies — A Reflection on South African Human Rights Lawyer, Kader Asmal

When Nelson Mandela named South Africa’s first democratic Minister for Water Affairs and Forestry – a futile effort to keep his outspoken, irascible, chain-smoking friend out of trouble – Kader Asmal claimed ignorance about the rudimentary basics of his new portfolio.

Pakistan and India in Dam Building Race — Interpreting the Indus Waters Treaty

A new era of dam building brings uncertainty to the 50-year-old water truce between India and Pakistan.

Q&A: James G. Workman on the Bushmen’s Fight for Water Rights and 21st Century Hydro-Democracy

Workman says chances of the Botswanian government returning water rights to the Bushmen as 'pretty slim.'

Lawmakers Pass Bill to Protect Argentina’s Glaciers

Bill passes that will ban mining and oil drilling in Andean ice fields.

James Workman: Who Owns the Rain—When Thirsty Democracies Deny Individual Liberty to Water

James G. Workman reflects on a recent ruling that compromises the water rights of the Bushmen.

Countries Move Forward with Nile Treaty Despite Egypt’s Objections

A weekend meeting of the Nile basin water ministers does not resolve treaty impasse.

Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Water Territories and the Politics of Scale and Identity

An excerpt from the introductory chapter of Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity, a book on the effect modern society has on water culture and indigenous communities

Q&A: David Getches on Water Rights for
Indigenous Cultures

"How modern society is affecting our water culture and the rights of indigenous communities."

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Feature Stories

Newest Article

Mongolia Copper Mine at Oyu Tolgoi Tests Water Supply and Young Democracy

Mining boom in South Gobi influenced by local and global citizen activism

China Tests New Strategy to Curb Coal Demand, Reduce Air Pollution, and Conserve Water

Nation’s Ministry of Environment turns to Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum for help.

Toxic Water: Across Much of China, Huge Harvests Irrigated with Industrial and Agricultural Runoff

The dirty truth about the world’s largest grain producer.

China’s Water Reserves and World’s Warming Atmosphere Wait For Natural Gas Breakthrough

China’s deep shale reserves are treacherous to tap and slow to develop.

Scarcity of Water and Land Shifts Geography of Food Production and Irrigation Networks to China’s Northeast

Rich land, ample water, and human persistence have turned virgin prairie into the primary breadbasket for China, the world’s largest nation and second-largest economy that is pursuing grain production with a single-minded purpose.

Food Supply, Fracking, and Water Scarcity Challenge China’s Juggernaut Economy

New project finds that building the world’s fastest-growing economy risks public safety and tests global resource limits. Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue An expensive program to expand irrigation networks is occurring in Inner Mongolia, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces, which has prompted concern because it would push new irrigation canals into highly […]

Building China’s 21st-century Megacity: Shanghai’s Experiment with Water and Nature

A new community on the Yangtze River has, so far, been more successful at attracting ducks than people. But city officials have their sights set high for Lingang Port City, which they say could be home to nearly a million people by 2050. Cleaner water will be a big help.

Double Choke Point: Demand for Energy Tests Water Supply and Economic Stability in China and the U.S.

The cords of energy demand and water supply are tightening around the world's two largest economies.

Energy Economy Brings Change to Shepherd Life: Modernization Comes to the Dry Grasslands of Inner Mongolia

Along the vast frozen grasslands, 23-year-old Wu Yun and her father, Bao Zhu, tend their flock of sheep and cattle. Just over the ridge, the northern city of Xilinhot is booming as the coal industry continues to expand. But it will take a lot of water to feed both the city and the mining.

Rains Bring Relief For Six-Month China Drought, But Chronic Water Problems Loom

Although now satiated, the dry spell is the latest in a growing trend of severe water shortages threatening China's food production, energy generation, and accelerating modernization.

China’s Other Looming Choke Point: Food Production

The Yellow River Basin is the center of a contest over water, energy, and agriculture.

Off the Deep End — Beijing’s Water Demand Outpaces Supply Despite Conservation, Recycling, and Imports

How China's capital got in over its head, and what the city is doing to get its water crisis under control.

Water Needs Curtail China’s Coal Gasification For Fuel, Yet Conversion To Chemicals Pushes Ahead

Though coal-to-liquids has been suspended due to water scarcity, the process uses 50 percent less water per unit of end product compared with coal-to-chemicals processes which have been given the go-ahead in hopes of slowing petroleum imports.

Q&A: Ma Jun on China’s Economic Development and Water Resources

Ma Jun tells Circle of Blue that China is still on the track of a highly energy- and resource-intensive model, with the need to de-couple economic growth from the expansion of resource consumption

Bohai Sea Pipeline Could Open China’s Northern Coal Fields

Disputed project seen as a must for modernization.

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Choke Point: China - Photo Slideshows

Newest Article

Photo Slideshow: China’s Polluted Waters

Pollution is a major driver of water scarcity in China, especially in the places where economic growth is the highest and water resources are under the most stress — China’s dry northern breadbaskets and its biggest manufacturing hubs in the south and east.

Photo Slideshow: Irrigating Northeastern China’s Breadbasket

The northeast region of China, including Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin provinces, is among the world’s most important breadbaskets. Earlier this year, as Circle of Blue reported in this Choke Point: China article, China’s central government announced a five-year, $US 6.3 billion program to rebuild and expand irrigation networks in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and eastern Inner […]

Video: Scarcity, Pollution, and Energy are Choke Point: China II Focus

Choke Point: China is an on-the-ground report that displays in text, photographs, and interactive graphics the powerful evidence of a potentially ruinous confrontation between growth, water, and energy that is already visible across China; a confrontation that is virtually certain to grow more dire over the next decade. Nadya Ivanova: China is a place in […]

Video: Confronting Water Scarcity & Energy Demand in China

Choke Point: China is an on-the-ground report that displays in text, photographs, and interactive graphics the powerful evidence of a potentially ruinous confrontation between growth, water, and fuel that is already visible across China; a confrontation that is virtually certain to grow more dire over the next decade.

Photo Slideshow: City of Coal on the Inner Mongolia Steppe

Xilinhot — an Inner Mongolian outpost of 177,000 residents, separated from Beijing by a 12-hour train ride — is at the center of the Xilin Gol Grassland, one of China's largest prairies and livestock production regions. The north's coal mines, trucks, and power plants are representative of the nation's coal dependency, a lifeline with an insatiable thirst for water

Photo Slideshow: Food and Farmers — China’s Other Challenge

The farm sector and the coal sector together made up 85 percent of water used in China last year. These photos take a look at the people and places affected by rising energy demand, accelerating modernization, and diminishing freshwater resources.

Photo Slideshow: Beijing Water Imports and Wastewater Recycling

A gallery of images from Beijing and neighboring Hebei Province, where the capital city is importing water from farmers and fishermen.

Photo Slideshow: Bohai Pipeline Could Bring Water to China’s Coal Industry

Images from northern China, where a proposed pipeline could be the answer to a resource mismatch of coal wealth and water poverty.

Photo Slideshow: Irrigation to Industry — Trading Water Rights in China’s Yellow River Basin

New industries invest in repairing irrigation canals in exchange for the right to use water from the Yellow River.

Photo Slideshow: China’s South-North Water Transfer Project

Taken together, the three lines are an audacious strategy to solve the increasingly dire confrontation between rising energy demand in a nation that is steadily getting drier.

Photo Slideshow — Choke Point: China

A gallery of images from Choke Point: China, a new water-energy series about the tightening noose that could choke off China’s modernization.

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Related China Stories

Newest Article

Deep Sea Gas: China Follows Japan in Pursuit of New Energy Source

Deep Sea Gas: China Follows Japan in Pursuit of New Energy Source

Though methane hydrate, a newly discovered unconventional natural gas reserve, is seen as an alternative to coal-fueled power, the technology for tapping deepwater supplies is not yet viable.

First Time Key Global Energy Report Highlights Water Constraints of Energy Production

Energy is becoming a thirstier resource, the report states. Photo courtesy Hess Corporation North Dakota is in the midst of a hydrocarbon production boom, as gas and oil developers tap the Bakken Shale. But the boom also is generating civic resistance in the arid region because it requires significant quantities of fresh water. Brett Walton […]

U.S., U.K, and China Lead Foreign Land Investments In Agriculture and Finance

GRAIN’s online database is the foundation for much of what the world knows about foreign investments in land. Though the majority of “land grabs” are for agribusiness, other sectors include construction, finance, industry, real estate, and more. Map © Varun Mangla /Circle of Blue Interactive map of “Land Grabs” by country and by sector: The […]

National Security Assessment: Water Scarcity Disrupting U.S. and Three Continents

In a new report, the U.S. State Department finds a global confrontation between growing water demand and shrinking supplies, in addition to predictions for the next 30 years of water scarcity.

“Choke Point: China” Findings Cited in Congressional Hearing

Choke Point: China findings presented at Congressional hearing.

Update: China Completes Tunnel Under Yellow River for South-North Water Transfer Project

China is on target to begin transferring water from the Yangtze River Basin to Hebei, Shandong, and Tianjin by 2013.

Choke Point: China on Wilson Center’s Dialogue Program

On Wednesday evening, dialogue — an award-winning television and radio program that explores the world of ideas through weekly, half-hour conversations with renowned public figures, scholars, journalists, and authors — will feature "Choke Point: The World's Looming Water Crisis."

EIA Report: Global Energy Use To Grow 50 Percent by 2035 — Half of Increase from Fossil Fuels in China and India

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently published its annual report on global energy projections. Though renewable energy sources and nuclear power, along with unconventional fossil fuels, will phase out coal production over the next two decades, it will not be at the pace necessary to offset greenhouse gas emissions

China Turns Profit From Coal-to-liquid Fuels Production, May Expand Controversial Program

Though China suspended most of its coal-to-liquid fuels refineries in 2008 due to concerns for scarce water resources and high production costs, recent financial gains may lead it to reconsider its policy.

China to Cap Energy Use by 2015 in National Low-Carbon Plan

The energy target will be the highlight of a document to come later this year, as well as a cornerstone of China's efforts to curb soaring greenhouse gas emissions, which currently stand at a quarter of the global total. Cutting coal consumption will inevitably also cut water use, as coal is China's largest industrial user of water.

Australia Builds Desalination Plants and Pipelines to Bring Water to Mines

To feed water-hungry mining industries, similar plans are in the works to supply drought-ridden regions of Australia and China.

Flooding Tests Three Gorges Dam, Pollutes Songhua River in China

Chemical pollution is the latest calamity as heavy rains continue to blanket the country with floods.

China Looks to Increase Hydropower to Meet Clean Energy Goals

While the superpower announces ambitious sustainability goals, it faces droughts and intensive energy needs.

Drought in South China is Worst in Decades

Parts of southern China are being ravaged by a severe three-season drought. Millions of people lack adequate water supplies, and millions of acres of cropland are too dry to plant.

Chinese Farms Generate More Water Pollution than Factories

Study shows 2007 discharges were double previous estimates.

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Multimedia

Newest Article

Infographic: Three Types of Coal Mining — Process and Facts

Opencast mining involves scraping at the ground's surface, while room and pillar mining occurs below ground. Likewise, longwall mining uses heavy machinery to dig at coal seams beneath the surface: learn more in this interactive inforgraphic.

Infographic: Test Your Knowledge with the Water and Energy Quiz

Think you know all there is to know about the intersection between water and energy? Take the Choke Point: US quiz to find out.

Infographic: Biofuels 101 — Water Use from Plant to Power Source

Production of ethanol, the most commonly used biofuel, has prompted concerns about water use and food supply.

Infographic: Energy Used in the Water Cycle

At eight pounds per gallon, water is a heavy substance; especially when utilities move billions of gallons per day.

Infographic: Hoover Dam’s Troubled Waters

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

Infographic: A Closer Look at Tar Sands Oil

185 gallons of water + two tons of soil + 700-1200 cubic feet of natural gas = one barrel of crude oil.

Infographic: U.S. Power Sources

Producing electricity region to region.

Infographic: State Legislatures Bridge Water-Energy Gap

A look at 16 states with statutes that acknowledge the tightening chokepoint between declining water resources and rising energy demand.

Infographic: 10 Things You Should Know about Water + Energy

A survey of key water facts behind traditional and alternative energy sources.

Infographic: North Dakota’s Rise To Domestic Oil Royalty

North Dakota has become the number four oil producing state—but at what cost to its water supply?

Photo Slideshow: Tar Sands Oil Refinery Burdens a Detroit Community

Residents face the environmental and health consequences of a Marathon refinery expansion.

Photo Slideshow: A Desperate Clinch — Coal Production Across America

A look at the places and faces affected by coal production in the United States.

Infographic: Tripling Tar Sands Oil Imports, Pipeline and Refinery Map from Canada to U.S.

The industry is spending billions of dollars to develop more U.S. pipelines.

Infographic: Coal and Water – A Resource Mismatch

The contest between coal-fired energy production and water demand is a mismatch.

Interactive Map: Top Ten Global Oil Spills

Details of the ten worst oil spills in history by volume, date, location, and company damages.

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Tar Sands

Newest Article

Oil Pipeline, Long Submerged in Michigan’s Deep Waters, Fuels Public Concern

A rally in St. Ignace on July 14 draws attention to the risks of ruptures and leaks when transporting fossil fuels through the Great Lakes.

Peter Gleick: The Keystone XL Pipeline — Red Herring, Symbol, or a Piece of a Puzzle?

It is time we just said “no.”

Nebraska Farmers Dismayed by Governor’s Endorsement of New Oil Pipeline Route

Despite a new route, farmers still worry about groundwater contamination and property rights.

Exxon and Imperial Oil Forced To Go Around Sensitive Idaho River Valley

Push-back on the transportation of tar sands equipment through a wilderness corridor reflects civic resistance to North American fossil fuel boom.

Q&A: Subir Bhattacharjee on the Geopolitics of Oil and Alberta’s Tar Sands

Subir Bhattacharjee — a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and one of Canada’s top water quality experts — tells Circle of Blue about the water cycle of the tar sands while he attends a high-level conference in Alberta, Canada.

Keystone XL Closer After U.S. House Vote

The proposed pipeline could be approved on a much shorter timeline than was laid out by President Barack Obama, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday giving approval power for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate has not yet considered the bill.

Connected by Pipeline from Canada, Tar Sands Represents Bonus and Risk to Great Lakes

Transporting and processing corrosive crude raise new questions about consequences.

Obama Administration to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline

However, the company building the pipeline will be invited to re-appl,y after finding a new route through Nebraska, according to a government official.

U.S. House Passes Bill to Accelerate Decision on Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline

If the Republican-sponsored bill passes the Democrat-controlled Senate, the final decision could come by the beginning of November.

South of the Border—Second Environmental Review of Tar Sands Pipeline Leaves Many Groups Unsatisfied

Residents and lawmakers in Nebraska mull their options for protecting key groundwater sources.

Infographic: A Closer Look at Tar Sands Oil

185 gallons of water + two tons of soil + 700-1200 cubic feet of natural gas = one barrel of crude oil.

Photo Slideshow: Tar Sands Oil Refinery Burdens a Detroit Community

Residents face the environmental and health consequences of a Marathon refinery expansion.

Scene of Midwest’s Worst Oil Spill – Sleepless Nights and Black Goo

Students examine communities affected by Enbridge rupture on Kalamzoo River.

Infographic: Tripling Tar Sands Oil Imports, Pipeline and Refinery Map from Canada to U.S.

The industry is spending billions of dollars to develop more U.S. pipelines.

A Midwest Pipeline Rupture Raises Questions About Tar Sands Risk

Enbridge is working overtime to clean up the spill, placate the community, and get oil flowing again.

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Fracking

Newest Article

Choke Point: U.S. — Water, Energy, and the Ohio River Valley’s New Course

Few places in the United States better understand the economically essential and ecologically risky accord between energy and water than this southeast Ohio town.

Pennsylvania Encourages New Source of Water for Fracking – Discharge from Abandoned Mines

The state aims to turn an old problem into an asset. Photo courtesy of Winner Water Services Winner Water Services, a Battelle subsidiary, runs a treatment facility in Sykesville, Pennsylvania that removes iron from the water that flows through an abandoned coal mine. The company would like to sell the water to energy companies for […]

New Evidence Shows Fracking Contaminates Groundwater in Pennsylvania

A Duke University study finds methane in drinking water wells, along with two additional gases associated only with shale gas extraction. Photo © Robert B. Jackson A natural gas drilling site operates adjacent to a farm in northeastern Pennsylvania. Drinking water wells within one kilometer of drilling sites show higher levels of methane, according to […]

Report: Half of U.S. Fracking Wells Drilled in Highly Water-stressed Regions

Energy companies should provide better data on fracking water use, and investors should push for quantifiable water targets, according to a sustainable investing advocacy group. Image courtesy of Ceres Hydraulically fractured shale regions are outlined in black and overlaid onto a map of U.S. river basins coded by water risk according to the World Resources […]

Study: Shale Gas Fracking Taints Rivers in Pennsylvania

Though groundwater gets most of the attention, rivers are also affected by the rush of shale gas development across the United States, according to a new study that claims both wastewater and well development degrade water quality, but in different ways.

Amid Roaring Demand, A U.S. City Plans to Triple Water Rates for Oil and Gas Customers

The recent oil and gas boom in the United States has been good business for the Carlsbad, New Mexico water department. Perhaps too good. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson In March 2012 President Barack Obama visited oil fields near Maljamar, New Mexico, where the city of Carlsbad owns and operates a water system […]

Clean Energy Picture Dramatically Changed For Midwest, As U.S. Fossil Energy Boom Gathers Steam

With the price of natural gas falling thanks to innovating drilling solutions in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, investments in water-sipping energy models like wind and solar have dried up.

Fossil Fuel Boom Shakes Ohio, Spurring Torrent of Investment and Worry Over Water

Ohio’s shale oil and gas fortunes point up. By Keith Schneider and Codi Yeager Circle of Blue Photo © Codi Yeager/Circle of Blue The site of a proposed $US 3 billion natural-gas-to-liquids plant near Wellsville, Ohio, heralds what many say is the state’s most significant investment in oil and gas development in decades. But the […]

Supreme Court Ruling Tests Boundaries of Water Supply and Energy Production Along Montana-Wyoming Border

Montana and Wyoming have taken their transboundary water dispute to the Supreme Court. Wyoming won the first round. But others await in a case that will help decide how much water is really available to generate energy and to produce food in one of the nation’s driest regions, as well as who has access to that water.

EPA and Halliburton Skirmish — Promises of Safer Fracking Fluid

After denying EPA disclosure request, Halliburton promises safer fracking fluid and more disclosure.

“Typical” Michigan Oil and Gas Lease Auction Casts Doubt on Collingwood Shale Formation

Earlier auction that set state records prompted projections of a new natural gas boom.

Government Warns Against Contaminated Water in Wyoming Town

Freshwater wells deemed unsafe because of hydrocarbons.

Fracking Regulations Vary Widely from State to State

A look at how states across America are facing deep frack dilemmas.

Michigan Says It’s Ready For Next Drilling Boom

“Fracking” is the injection of water and chemicals to rupture deep shale and release natural gas.

EPA Announces Study to Re-Examine the Health Risks of Hydrofracking

States have begun implementing stricter standards for the controversial natural gas drilling process.

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Hydropower

Newest Article

Alaska Governor Authorizes $4.5 Billion Dam Project

Throughout many parts of the United States, old dams are being removed. But in Alaska, the state legislature and the governor want to build what would be one of the nation’s tallest hydroelectric facilities. If built, the 200-meter dam on the Susitna River would be the nation’s fifth tallest.

Colorado River Basin Group Releases Supply Assessment: Bureau of Reclamation Uses Climate Data to Predict 9 Percent Decline in Flow

The interim report is the first step in a two-year evaluation of the Colorado River Basin. Photo courtesy Bureau of Reclamation. By Brett Walton Circle of Blue The mean annual flow from the upper basin of the Colorado River will decrease 9 percent by mid-century, according to one water supply projection from an interim report […]

Low Water May Halt Hoover Dam’s Power

What happens if Lake Mead drops too low to generate electricity at Hoover Dam?

Where Energy Development Puts Rivers at Risk

American Rivers’ annual tally of threatened rivers highlights effects of drilling for natural gas.

Climate Change To Heighten International Tensions Over Freshwater Resources

Growing supply and demand gaps.

California Report: In Dry Times, Deep Reservoir of Water Solutions

New report highlights possible solutions to state's water shortages

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Oil

Newest Article

Amid Roaring Demand, A U.S. City Plans to Triple Water Rates for Oil and Gas Customers

The recent oil and gas boom in the United States has been good business for the Carlsbad, New Mexico water department. Perhaps too good. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson In March 2012 President Barack Obama visited oil fields near Maljamar, New Mexico, where the city of Carlsbad owns and operates a water system […]

Infographic: North Dakota’s Rise To Domestic Oil Royalty

North Dakota has become the number four oil producing state—but at what cost to its water supply?

Water Demand is Flash Point in Dakota Oil Boom

Production from the Bakken Shale is projected to use up to 5.5 billion gallons of water annually.

Interactive Map: Top Ten Global Oil Spills

Details of the ten worst oil spills in history by volume, date, location, and company damages.

Q&A: ‘Crude’ Director Joe Berlinger on Chevron Oil in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Featuring Live Earth, Vanity Fair cover, and a CNN Hero Award.

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Wind, Solar, and Biofuels

Newest Article

Clean Energy Picture Dramatically Changed For Midwest, As U.S. Fossil Energy Boom Gathers Steam

With the price of natural gas falling thanks to innovating drilling solutions in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, investments in water-sipping energy models like wind and solar have dried up.

Economics and Water Concerns Alter the Solar Landscape in the US West

The falling price of photovoltaic panels and public concerns about aquifers and rivers in the western United States are boosting solar energy technologies that save water. In December, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) approved a 300-megawatt (MW) solar energy project on public land in southwestern Arizona on condition that the developer changes the […]

Visions of Solar Energy’s Future Compete in Colorado’s San Luis Valley

The U.S. government is in the process of designating more than 6,000 hectacres of federal land for solar energy development. As companies line up to submit projects, some valley residents are questioning the centralized model of energy generation and are, instead, trying to shape an independent energy future.

State of the Union: New Economics of Energy Production Tilts Obama’s “All-of-the-Above” Strategy One Way

In the era of deficit and disinvestment, water-intensive fossil fuel production is overwhelming the water-sipping clean energy sector.

EPA Releases Draft Assessment of Environmental Effects of Biofuels

Preliminary report describes an infant cellulosic biofuels industry with a mandate to grow up fast.

Infographic: Biofuels 101 — Water Use from Plant to Power Source

Production of ethanol, the most commonly used biofuel, has prompted concerns about water use and food supply.

Low Water May Halt Hoover Dam’s Power

What happens if Lake Mead drops too low to generate electricity at Hoover Dam?

Infographic: Water Use Per Mile Driven — Biofuels vs. Fossil Fuels

A breakdown of gallons of water used by transportation fuels per mile.

In Solar Power Lies Path to Reducing Water Use For Energy

California’s latest proposed desert solar power plant could compromise desert habitat.

Biofuels that Save Water and Land

Flushing For Fuel: Wastewater grows energy-rich plants and algae.

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Thermopower Shift

Newest Article

The Rising Cost of Settling the American Desert

Power plant that moves torrent of water uphill considers closing

Infographic: U.S. Power Sources

Producing electricity region to region.

Water Scarcity Prompts Different Plans to Reckon With U.S. Energy Choke Point

Southeast could learn from Southwest

Thermal Power Stations Need Makeover

Utilities feel pressure from more users and less water.

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