Agriculture

New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes.

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Water Data Farmers and water managers in Nepal are lacking adequate scientific data to make informed decisions about everything from local development to crop insurance, Inter Press Service reported. Nepal’s difficult terrain and sparse monitoring networks are one reason behind the data deficiency, but scientists also say that available data is not analyzed properly. Surveyors […]

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Climate Change Climate change is no longer a potential problem, but one that is happening right now, says a new report from the International Panel on Climate Change created by dozens of leading scientists, The New York Times reported. The report outlined how climate change effects on businesses, food security and public health will worsen, […]

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Climate Change Bangladesh is likely to be one of the countries hardest hit by global climate change as rising seas, erosion and intense storms threaten its low-lying river deltas, The New York Times reported. A major problem is saltwater intrusion up freshwater rivers, which makes some farm fields unusable. Some countries, including Britain, are discounting […]

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Scientists have called into question the viability of wetland ecosystems recreated on land used for oil sands mining in Canada, saying they do not function as well as before, Yale Environment 360 reported. None of the areas reclaimed by oil companies have yet been certified as meeting government standards, and reclamation efforts can cost as […]

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Increased heat and water scarcity will limit food production. Farmers and food markets can adapt, but only to a point.

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Water Supply Impoverished neighborhoods and a refugee camp east of security barriers in Jerusalem have dealt with very little water service for the past three weeks, according to a petition submitted to the High Court by Israel’s Association for Civil Rights, the Jerusalem Post reported. Water infrastructure in these areas has been neglected, according to […]

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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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Sunlight, soil, water, ruminants – it is all a big cycle at the Homestead Ranch.

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Pollution Officials have found 131 dead pigs in China’s Ganjiang River near Nanchang, and are still recovering more carcasses, Bloomberg News reported. Drinking water in Nanchang has been tested and is safe, according to tests, but the incident is once again raising concerns about food and water safety a year after dead pigs were found […]

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Hydropower Environmental groups have raised concerns that the population of Irawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River—which now consists of an estimated 85 individuals—will disappear if construction of a dam on the river is completed, Time reported. A report from the World Wildlife Fund says that explosions during the dam’s construction could kill dolphins in the […]

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Conservationists worry that the Myitsone hydropower project on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River will resume construction after a 3-year pause initiated by Myanmar president Thein Sein, the Guardian reported. The Chinese-backed dam has already displaced communities along the river, and as much as 90 percent of the electricity it would generate would go to China. U.S. Pollution […]

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vinyard

Benefits go to agriculture, but won’t help cities.

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A pipeline project moving water from Turkey to northern Cyprus is expected to be completed this year and should provide much needed relief for drought-hit farmers, the Associated Press reported. The project, however, has also become a source of political tension between Turkish populations in northern Cyprus—which Turkey invaded in 1974—and Greek populations in southern […]

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Australia New South Wales and the federal government of Australia have reached a new agreement about government water buybacks in the Murray-Darling River Basin, capping the buybacks at 1,500 gigaliters, the Guardian reported. The buybacks transfer water rights from farmers and other water users to the government, and are meant to keep enough water in […]

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Pollution Protesters have been demonstrating and signing petitions against coal ash ponds in front of the corporate headquarters of Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based company responsible for spilling millions of gallons of coal ash into the state’s Dan River, CNN Reported. The United States federal government is conducting a criminal investigation of the spill, and […]

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Natural Disasters The annual economic cost of natural disasters in China nearly doubled in 2013, costing the country $US 69 billion, Reuters reported. The most expensive disasters were floods and mudslides, followed by earthquakes and droughts. An extended period of heavy rainstorms and floods in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the country’s […]

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Most farmers in California who have contracts with the Central Valley Project, a federal canal system, will get no water this year, according to initial projections by the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the canals. Contractors that supply water to industries and cities in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, the canal system’s service area, […]

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Weather It is becoming more likely that an El Niño weather pattern will form this year, potentially bringing severe drought to places like Australia and India while bringing heavy rains and floods to the Midwest United States and Brazil, Reuters reported. El Niño is caused when surface water temperatures increase in the Pacific Ocean. Hydropower […]

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Water Scarcity Food security in the Near East and North Africa region will be strained as the availability of fresh water could decline 50 percent by 2050 and the regional population continues to grow, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN News Centre reported. The UN has formed […]

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