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Missouri River

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration made final new rules that will help prevent unused medications from contaminating waterways. Pharmacies are now authorized to collect unwanted narcotics, stimulants, and other “controlled substances.” Before, these pills had to be turned over to law enforcement officials. One-day drug collection events have grown in popularity. Clean water advocates are […]

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A major Bureau of Reclamation study depicts widespread changes in the coming decades for water supply and demand in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, as well as for water quality in the delta ecosystem where the two rivers intersect. The study, to be released publically later this month, uses climate models and population trends […]

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Language in the budget deal that passed Congress in January instructed U.S. representatives to the World Bank and other development banks to oppose loans, grants, or policies that support large hydroelectric dams, defined as those taller than 15 meters (49 feet). It is not clear, however, how that message, which was directed at international financial […]

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Drinking Water The quality of drinking water supplies is at risk from increasingly frequent extreme weather, such as droughts, floods and wildfires—especially if they occur in combination, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing a new study released by researchers at the University of New South Wales. For example, a large wildfire followed by heavy rain […]

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Gross Reservoir

Hint: It’s not who you might think, says Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton.

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FamigliettiSOM

Scientists who use the GRACE satellite say they need more resources to maximize its usefulness – for predicting floods and droughts.

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Days of heavy rains have made the drought-like conditions earlier this year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers feel like a distant memory. Flooding, USA Today reported, has inundated Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Public Health At least 450 garment workers fell ill during shifts at a Bangladeshi garment factory this week. A contaminated water supply […]

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Climate Change Risk The U.S. government’s internal watchdog added two new items to its list of high-priority risks to the federal government: financial risk from climate change-related catastrophes and insufficient data from weather-monitoring satellites. The Government Accountability Office’s high-risk list – which emphasizes areas vulnerable to fraud, waste or mismanagement, or areas in need of […]

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in its first-ever inventory of the state of federal flood control systems, found that 22 percent of the levees surveyed were rated “unacceptable”, according to the Associated Press. The corps, claiming the threat of terrorism and sabotage, would not say why those levees were so rated. Some 40 percent […]

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Shortages in water, food, and energy comprise one of four “megatrends” that U.S. government intelligence analysts said would cause radical economic and political changes in the next 18 years. The other trends, Bloomberg reported, include the United States’ fade from dominance, the rising power of individuals over the state, and a booming middle class. U.S. […]

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States in the midwestern United States, still reeling from this summer’s drought, are turning to the White House for help securing enough water from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. President Barack Obama has received letters from officials in 30 states, the Associated Press reported, asking him to play a role in a dispute about whether […]

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At least 283 people have died in the Philippines following the landfall of Typhoon Bohpa, which triggered floods and landslides across the southern islands, AlertNet reported. Rescuers are struggling to find survivors, but efforts are being hampered by destroyed roads and downed communication systems. In Papua New Guinea, the large Ok Tedi copper mine may […]

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Scientists are beginning to study the ecological function of cities, tracking and measuring the flow of atmospheric gases, water, carbon, and pollutants through the urban ecosystem, Nature reported. The research could be essential for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating sustainable cities. Water Levels Global sea level rise is outpacing United Nations projections by 60 […]

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Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, introduced legislation that would set up a federal water infrastructure financing program modeled after a program that provides low-interest loans for transportation projects.The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) would give priority to water and wastewater projects of national or regional significance, covering a gap in existing federal […]

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In Kansas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drained billions of gallons of water from three reservoirs to support Missouri River barge traffic, which has suffered after this summer’s drought. But Kansas-area residents and businesses, the Kansas City Star reported, have complained bitterly about the decision to support a dwindling barge industry at the expense […]

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Officials from states in the upper Missouri River basin are upset with an Army Corps of Engineers proposal to charge the states for the storage and use of ‘surplus’ water in six reservoirs on the nation’s longest river. South Dakota’s attorney general said he would challenge the plan in court, if it is enacted, while […]

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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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Pipes on Tap On Tuesday a Senate subcommittee will listen to officials from local governments speak about water infrastructure problems. The mayor of Baltimore, the manager of a water system in suburban Washington, D.C. and the director of an Alabama water association will speak. This is the second time in the last three months that […]

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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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Pakistan A high-level official from the U.S. State Department met with counterparts from Pakistan last month during the fourth water “dialogue” between the two countries. The U.S. government has given Pakistan money for irrigation, hydroelectric, and water supply projects under the Kerry-Berman-Lugar bill—legislation signed in 2009 that authorizes $7.5 billion in aid to Pakistan. Pakistan […]

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