In his State of the Union address yesterday, President Obama promised to take action on climate change, even if Congress refuses. “The fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods — all are now more frequent and more intense,” he said. “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”
The San Joaquin Valley and Southern California will receive less water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta after water managers decided Tuesday to reduce exports, the Los Angeles Times reported. The deaths of endangered delta smelt, a small fish that can be killed by the export pumps, were cited as the reason for the decision.
A long-running dispute over water rights in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin has pitted the Navajo Nation — with the backing of the state and federal governments — against other agricultural and municipal water users in the region, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The Navajo Nation hopes to secure more than 160 million cubic meters (130,000 acre feet) of water, an amount agreed upon in a 2005 settlement that was meant to fulfill a promise made by Congress in 1962.
In a post for National Geographic, Zarah Rahman, of the non-profit Aquaya Institute, explains how mobile phone networks can be used in developing countries to provide information about water quality and availability. The end goal is to improve water supply.
Mining has spurred economic growth in South America, but it has also led to violent clashes between citizens and their governments over issues like water quality, Bloomberg News reported. With large mining projects planned in many of its countries, and under pressure from a changing climate, the region faces tough decisions about the future of its water.