The Stream, December 27: Evaporation to Exacerbate Western Water Shortages

Temperatures nudged higher by climate change will increase evaporation levels from plants and soil in the American west, a new Columbia University study predicted. Higher evaporation rates, the Los Angeles Times reported, will dry out land and reduce water runoff into rivers and streams by about 10 percent in California, Nevada, Colorado River headwaters and Texas.

Aquifers and the Rio Grande river support wetlands, various bodies of water, and farms in the southern Colorado desert. Two National Geographic contributors argue that Colorado’s current water laws can cause economic and political turmoil, and outline policies they believe will help the situation.

Hurricane Sandy
A citizen-science project organized by two professors in New York is helping anyone afraid of water contamination from Hurricane Sandy. People are sending soil and mud samples for contaminant testing, The New York Times reported, to the organization called SUDS, or Send Us Your Dirt From Sandy.
Infrastructure in China, Brazil

China is the world’s No.1 dam builder. Critics say that China is willing to build where other companies will not, the Associated Press reported, because of environmental, social, political or financial concerns.

The Brazilian government signed US$ 681 billion in agreements to finance projects to prevent drought and increase water supply nationwide. Funding was also allocated, Business News America reported, to families suffering from drought in north and northeast Brazil.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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