Texas

Approximately 33 centimeters (13.26 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours on Long Island, New York—a record amount equal to the rainfall the area usually receives in more than two months, Reuters reported. The heavy rain led to flash flooding, closing roads and creating dangerous conditions for commuters. Water Supply San Francisco is faced with […]

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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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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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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 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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ogallala-banner-drought

Rainfall deficit is worse than the 1930s Dust Bowl.

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Africa Ethiopia decided not to accept financial help from Egypt for funding the Grand Renaissance dam on the Nile River, Reuters reported. The decision gives Ethiopia complete control over the controversial hydropower project, which Egypt has opposed due to concerns about water availability downstream. Seismic testing for oil is slated to begin April 26 in […]

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Water Governance Argentina plans to cut subsidies for natural gas and water by 20 percent this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The cuts, which exempt some industrial and residential users, are meant to save as much as $US 1.6 billion to fund utility costs and social programs. A draft law in Spain could require […]

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Hydropower Pakistan aims to develop hydropower dams capable of producing 13,000 megawatts of electricity, which would increase the country’s hydropower output by almost eight times, AlertNet reported, citing government officials. Pakistan currently experiences frequent power outages due to demand outstripping supply, and the country’s industrial sector has suffered as a result. A drought in Sri […]

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James Clapper, director of national intelligence, presented the 2014 assessment of global security threats to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week. For the fourth consecutive report, a section is dedicated to water. “Risks to freshwater supplies – due to shortages, poor quality, floods, and climate change – are growing,” according to the 31-page […]

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Climate change, dam construction, irrigation and groundwater use are causing water supplies in Iran to shrink rapidly, a phenomenon epitomized by the near disappearance of Lake Urmia, The New York Times reported. Lake Urmia is estimated to contain just 5 percent of the water it once held, and though it is a saltwater lake, Iran’s […]

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Water Pollution A chemical foaming agent used to process coal spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia Friday, prompting a tap water ban for approximately 300,000 people and the declaration of a state and federal disaster, CBS News reported. Stores in the area quickly sold out of bottled water, and the National Guard […]

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Water Contamination Water pollution caused by natural gas and oil drilling operations may be more common than advertised, with cases confirmed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia, according to an Associated Press review of complaints submitted to the states. The review also found that the states varied greatly in the way they reported possible […]

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In a normal week, I use this space to look back at U.S. government water news from the seven days that have just passed. Today, however, I turn the lens in the opposite direction. These are the policies, reports, and decisions to anticipate in 2014, organized chronologically, more or less. Great Lakes The government gets […]

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Water and Energy At the binational Itaipú hydropower dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay, environmental and social activists are working with energy companies to protect and restore the watershed for the benefit of residents and future power generation, Inter Press Service reported. Though activists are not completely satisfied with the program, they […]

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Dropping When It’s Hot The Santa Ana watershed, home to 6 million people in Southern California, faces a number of threats to its water supply because of climate change, according to a comprehensive Bureau of Reclamation study. River flows and precipitation will decrease, as will the amount of water infiltrating the basin’s aquifers, which provide […]

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As more and more land is converted to dairy farms, New Zealand’s waterways face increasing risk from harmful algal blooms and excessive weed growth, according to a report from the country’s parliamentary commissioner for the environment, Xinhua reported. A boom in the dairy industry has been fueled by the developing world’s growing demand for dairy […]

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Bottled Water With sales of bottled water in China expected to reach $US 16 billion by 2017, some economists worry that government involvement in the industry may encourage lower safety standards as local authorities compete to attract investment, Business Insider reported. China recently announced reforms aimed at cleaning up its food and water supplies. An […]

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Twitter of Brett and Guardian

Rainwater harvesting, a disruptive idea, catches on with businesses. CoB reporter Brett Walton responds to a recent article in the Guardian.

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Average levels of global carbon dioxide reached another record high in 2012, according to results published Wednesday by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, the Guardian reported. Climate change driven by rising CO2 levels is expected to create more frequent and severe droughts and storms around the world. United States Texas will now be able […]

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