Agriculture

Flooding in many coastal areas of the United States has increased since the 1950s, with some places now experiencing flooding once every three months compared to once every one to five years in the past, according to a new study released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Reuters reported. Flood frequency has increased at […]

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China Rules for pilot water trading markets in seven Chinese provinces will be approved by October, Reuters reported. The markets could improve water use efficiency in the country, but some experts have questioned their legality under Chinese law. India India is hoping to forge closer ties with Nepal by offering to help develop hydropower in […]

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India While some regions of India are mired in drought, the country’s eastern states are being inundated by monsoon rains, AlertNet reported. Floods have displaced 10,000 people in Odisha, where floodwaters from a major river washed into 30 communities. Agriculture A drought in Thailand and the closure of a government subsidy program for rice growers […]

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Rainfall has been far below average in Lebanon, leading to water shortages for farmers and a drop in fruit and vegetable production, Inter Press Service reported. As a result, food prices are rising and straining food security for Syrian refugees and border communities in the country. Energy China’s National Energy Administration cautioned regional developers to […]

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Agriculture More than half of the fertilizer applied to farmland globally is unnecessary, while 8 to 15 percent of the water used is wasted, according to a new study published in the journal Science, the Guardian reported. Better use of resources could help current farmland produce enough food to feed 3 billion more people, the […]

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Water Shortages India’s monsoon has so far delivered 36 percent less rain than average, and reservoir levels are below their 10-year averages, according to water officials, Bloomberg News reported. If the monsoon continues to perform poorly and dry conditions are compounded by an El Nino weather event, 333 million people in six states could face […]

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

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Europe More cities in France are starting to return to public water supplies, pressuring private water firms that control 60 percent of the country’s water market, Reuters reported. The trend follows Paris’ decision to ditch its private water system five years ago, and is allowing cities to negotiate for better prices with their private suppliers […]

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Water Scarcity New research has quantified the amount of water being virtually exported from and imported to Chinese provinces, confirming that arid regions are sending huge amounts of water to more water-rich areas in the form of agricultural products, Reuters reported. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that this imbalance […]

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California Drought As much as 1,150 megawatts of energy production could shut down if water supplies for power plants in drought-hit California are not secured, according to the state’s grid operator, Bloomberg News reported. Several of the state’s energy agencies have warned that the drought could threaten grid reliability, though current restrictions on water use […]

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Water Scarcity Agricultural diversions, dams and climate change have led to the loss of 85 percent of the water in Lake Urmia, a lake that once covered 5,000 square kilometers, Bloomberg News reported. Iran’s president said the country is initiating efforts to restore the lake, which are expected to take 10 to 15 years to […]

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Satisfaction rates with local water quality have stayed consistent for the past five years, with 71 percent of people surveyed worldwide saying that they were satisfied in 2013, according to a newly released Gallup poll. One area of the world where satisfaction rates have not improved is sub-Saharan Africa, where only 50 percent of respondents […]

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Water is largely ignored in a report about U.S. economic risks of climate change.

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Human rights groups have sent a report to the United Nations arguing that water shutoffs by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department are violating the human right to water, the Detroit News reported. Half of the city’s water accounts are overdue, and the city has so far shut off 4,500 of the 46,000 customers that […]

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Desertification Approximately 105 million hectares, or 32 percent of India’s land, is degraded and one quarter is facing desertification, according to India’s environment minister, Reuters reported. The trend is thought to be caused by overuse of land for grazing livestock and shifting rainfall patterns. India is not alone. Globally, 2 billion hectares a year are […]

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Hydro Resources, a well-drilling contractor, works around the clock to punch new holes in the Ogallala Aquifer in Kansas. The Ogallala, the primary water source in the Great Plains, is declining because billions of gallons are pumped out each year to irrigate corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

A plan to reduce water use by 20 percent was voted down last week.

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Water Supply There are likely huge amounts of water—as much as three times the amount in the oceans—contained in a layer of minerals within the Earth’s mantle, nearly 400 miles underground, according to a new study published in the journal Science, NPR reported. The water is in a mineral form called ringwoodite, and could tell […]

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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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Extreme Weather The United States corn crop, worth $US 65 billion last year, is increasingly at risk from heatwaves and droughts, according to a new report released by Ceres, the Guardian reported. The report highlights that 87 percent of irrigated corn acres in the U.S. are suffering water shortages. There is now a 90 percent […]

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India New Delhi is experiencing its hottest temperatures in 62 years, according to Reuters. The heatwave has created blackouts, mandatory power cuts, and water shortages, prompting several members of Congress to hold the city’s chief secretary in his office until he agrees to address the problems in a meaningful way, the Times of India reported. […]

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