Drought

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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California Drought New rules passed in California Tuesday will impose up to $US 500 fines on residents caught wasting water on lawns, cars and sidewalks, NPR reported, citing the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. Despite the severe, 3-year drought, residents in the state have not reached water conservation goals through voluntary measures alone. […]

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

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After a delayed arrival of the annual monsoon, farmers in northern India are shifting crops and preparing for drought, Business Standard reports. Though heavy rains fell on Sunday in northern India, seasonal precipitation is just 43 percent of normal, the worst since 2009. Hydroelectric power generation will also drop, more so in the south where […]

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Because California’s cities have not cut water use in line with recommendations during a historic drought, state regulators proposed a set of mandatory restrictions to curb excessive lawn watering, sidewalk spraying, and car washing, the Los Angeles Times reports. The water board will hold a hearing Tuesday to discuss the proposal. If adopted the rules […]

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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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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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The Federal Reserve’s assessment of current economic conditions, known as the beige book, notes that drought is affecting food prices and crop production. With cattle stocks the lowest in decades, beef prices are expected to rise, as are food prices more broadly because of California’s drought, the Fed claims. In Texas, wheat is in poor […]

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Australia’s conservative coalition government will cut by 13 percent the amount of water it purchases from farmers, water that will be used to restore flows in the country’s most important watershed, The Australian reports. Instead, the government will spend $2.3 billion on water-efficient infrastructure projects, in hopes of saving an equivalent amount of water. Concerns […]

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The largest city in the United States wants to revive dozens of groundwater wells on Long Island as a temporary supply, Newsday reports. The new sources will be needed in 2021 when New York shuts down one of its upstate aqueducts for at least 10 months to repair leaks. Long Island residents fear that added […]

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India’s new government changed the official name of the environment ministry to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, the Economic Times reports. Observers are hopeful that the name change will lead to domestic development policies that alleviate poverty while reducing carbon output. India’s new water minister, meanwhile, pledged to make good on her […]

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Both sides of Congress passed a $US 12 billion water infrastructure package last week. The 532-page Water Resources Reform and Development Act is a doozy. It hands out money, defines policies, and orders new studies. The highlights: Project planning assessments, called feasibility studies, will be capped at three years and $US 3 million dollars, codifying […]

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Agriculture may do better this year than expected, researchers say. But at a long-term cost.

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SaoPauloMetroMapWeb

New conditions of supply and demand in the world’s ninth-largest city.

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Food prices set to climb as production of wheat and other staple crops is cut.

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Average water flows in Mongolia’s Tuul River have been declining, dropping to 10 cubic meters per second between 1996 and 2012 compared to its historical average of 25 cubic meters per second, The Diplomat reported, citing government meteorological data. The river is important for recharging aquifers that supply water to Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Bator, raising […]

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Water Scarcity Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. Water shortages […]

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Water Scarcity The El Niño weather phenomenon, predicted to occur later this year, leads to an average 1.4 percent drop in global wheat yields and a 2.3 percent drop in corn yields, while soybean yields increase an average 3.5 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, Bloomberg News reported. El […]

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