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Lake Mead

In 22 years, the energy sector will demand twice as much water, driven primarily by booming coal-fired electricity and increasing biofuel production. That’s the central finding of an International Energy Agency projection, National Geographic reported. The total increase in demand is equivalent to four times the volume of the U.S.’s Lake Mead. Measuring Risk, Expecting […]

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Salazar-Minute-319

The agreement marks a turn in Colorado River management.

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A Utah water quality board approved the first commercial tar sands project in the U.S. Wednesday, opening a largely undeveloped area in Utah’s eastern desert to production next year. A Canadian company called U.S. Oil Sands Inc., the Deseret News reported, aims to start production of 2,000 barrels of oil next year. Contaminated Water in […]

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Colorado River 23 Swimming Pools

A bird’s eye view of the Colorado River demonstrates how persistent drought conditions affect the basin and how the southern Nevada region manages its share of what trickles down.

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Urban Water Supply The Colorado River Commission of Nevada endorsed a plan to pump and pipe groundwater from counties north of the Las Vegas Valley to southern Nevada. The plan, with a cost estimated in the billions, would relieve some of the pressure from dropping water levels in Lake Mead, the Las Vegas Sun reported. […]

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Investments Because climate change will make rivers warmer and reduce their flow, the generating capacity for coal-fired and nuclear power plants—which rely on water for cooling—will decrease by between 4 and 16 percent in the U.S. and between 6 and 19 percent in Europe in the years 2031-2060, Reuters reports, citing a study published in […]

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Walton-006

As water availability data starts coming in, this year’s water allocations and the potential consequences for irrigation, hydropower, wildfires, and flooding are being assessed — La Niña weather patterns have returned this year, but water supply conditions generally are not as extreme as they were 2011.

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Water Pollution Hydraulic fracturing for shale gas should take place at least 600 meters down from aquifers used for water supplies, according to a new study published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, the Press Association reported. Heavy municipal and industrial pollution in a river in the Indonesian province of West Java is threatening […]

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The Murray-Darling Draft Plan The Murray-Darling River Basin draft plan is likely to trigger another round of legal arguments over state water entitlements, according to Adelaide Now. The states of New South Wales and Victoria have rejected the plan — which recommends returning 2,750 gigaliters of water a year to the river system — arguing […]

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NASA Satellite image of Lake Poyang

Urban waste and falling water levels signaled a rough start to 2012 for some of the world’s largest and most iconic freshwater lakes.

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Haste and Waste The Commission on America’s Nuclear Future released its report on how to handle the nation’s growing pile of nuclear waste. Co-chaired by Lee Hamilton, a former Congressman, and Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Advisor, the commission made numerous recommendations that would require action from the administration or Congress. Since halting work […]

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Chicago’s Sewers The sewer district for metropolitan Chicago has set a timetable for a completing a four-decade-old tunnel and reservoir project that will reduce sewer overflows into Lake Michigan, according to an agreement signed in December with the U.S. Justice Department. By 2029 the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District must complete the remaining two reservoirs in […]

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Water_for_Energy_Pacific_Institute_Nov_3_2011

At the forefront of a national trend, this region is already suffering from intense conflicts that willy only worsen with climate change and population growth. However, the report also highlights several ways to dramatically reduce the water requirements for electricity generation.

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La Nina Winter Soaks

Western states confront potential for floods and wildfires.

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Lake Mead Water level Issues

The reservoir is expected to rise nearly 30 feet, and power output at the Hoover Dam will increase as well.

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A British energy company has begun drilling for shale gas in Lancashire, UPI reports. Great Britain’s hydraulic fracking debut raises more questions about the future of shale gas extraction in Europe. Reuters gives a breakdown of the energy issues facing the United States. The country plans to decrease its oil imports by one-third in a […]

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Digital Controls Improve Energy Efficiency

Mechanical parts from the 1950s are being replaced with digital controls at three dams.

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For years, the state took as much water as it could from Lake Mead; now it plans to leave some in the reservoir.

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

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In 2008 journalist and photographer Jon Waterman spent five months traveling the Colorado River to understand the extent of its shrinking.

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