The Stream, July 23: Looking Ahead As U.S. Drought Persists

The U.S. drought could last through October, prolonged by potential El Niño conditions, according to Reuters and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.

Corn and soybean prices have reached record highs, with corn at more than $8.07 a bushel and soybeans up to $17.49, threatening a “world food crisis” if conditions persist, UPI reported.

A diminished water supply could signal increased investment in water solutions and other natural resource commodities, according to The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch.

Some adaptive measures already in the works include innovative farming techniques, such as “forgivness farming” in Virginia, as well as land management and conservation methods adopted from around the world, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Heavy 2011 snowfall supplemented water levels in the Colorado River and Lake Powell, helping to mask drought severity in parts of the Southwest, according to The New York Times Green blog.

The U.S. Drought Monitor has been measuring dry conditions nationwide since 1999. Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton explains the complex process behind the National Drought Mitigation Center’s weekly updates.

Meanwhile, Beijing’s heaviest rainstorm in 60 years has killed at least 37 people and flooded streets throughout the city over the weekend, Reuters reported, citing state media.

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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