The Stream, May 20: Drying Out the High Plains Aquifer

The High Plains Aquifer, a once-bountiful water source that covers broad swaths of the midwest United States, has been drained to dangerously low levels, especially in the south. The aquifer, The New York Times reported, no longer supports irrigation on hundreds of miles of farmland in Texas and Kansas.

Superstorm Sandy Recovery
Some beaches in New Jersey lost an unprecedented amount of coastline during Superstorm Sandy. Now, The New York Times reported, some are questioning the wisdom of rebuilding already vulnerable beaches and coastal communities.

Fracking and Water Supplies
Oil and gas operations damaged at least 161 homes, farms, churches and businesses in Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2012. The Scranton Times-Tribune analyzed just under 1,000 letters sent by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection that responded to water-quality complaints by area residents.

In North Dakota, towns are fighting over rights to the multi-million dollar water-supply market that feeds the states multimillion-dollar hydraulic fracturing industry. Supplies are not immediately limited in the state, Reuters reported, but the potential for profit from water caused disputes among local interest groups.

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