Perilous Waters

| “Peligro,” the sign reads—danger. Despite this warning, people have filed through gaps in fences and have waited patiently to fill buckets, jugs, and bottles with water from a spigot on an abandoned lot, the Washington Post reports. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, citizens of Puerto Rico are in desperate need of water. And some ... READ MORE

A Groundwater Glass Half-Full

| Satellite radar measurements provided by interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR, can detect subtle, millimeter-scale changes in ground elevation as areas gain or lose groundwater. Researchers have recently utilized the technology to quantify the effects of California’s drought. And in an unexpected twist, they also detected shifts due to policy changes. Moisture levels affect soil ... READ MORE

A Renewed Battle Cry Over Water

| President Obama recently signed a $10 billion bill that authorizes various water projects across the country. Two that have gotten the most attention are helping Flint, MI, recover from the lead-tainted drinking water debacle earlier this year ($170 million authorized), and providing relief to some of the people affected by the California drought ($558 million). The ... READ MORE

Of Fish and Farmers: California’s Drought-Fueled Debate

| For years, a tug-of-war between Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and California’s two Democratic senators over the state’s limited water supply has prevented Congress from resolving critical water allocation issues. But on Wednesday, May 25th,  the House endorsed a plan (H.R. 2898) to divert more water from northern California to farmers in the San ... READ MORE

Can We Be Trusted on Our Own?

| Two weeks ago, California did an abrupt about-face on its drought water restriction policy, eliminating the mandatory 25% reduction in urban water use and instead deciding to leave future water conservation targets up to the local water suppliers. The state has 411 separate water suppliers, and the State Water Board said that beginning in June, ... READ MORE

A State of Conservation: Making Drought Measures Permanent

| The drought is far from over. Nearly 90% of the state of California “remains in moderate drought or worse,” despite extra precipitation in northern California this winter, says the Associated Press. And according to California’s policymakers, it’s time for the state to transition from short-term emergency measures to a permanent water conservation plan. What impact ... READ MORE

Is Dry the New Normal? Facing the Silent Threat of Water Scarcity

| Contemporary composer Ashley Fure creates music with water by layering sounds in an arrangement of splashes and droplets. The liquid melody is pleasurable—auditory nourishment, in fact—especially for inhabitants of parched western states. California residents have their ears pricked for the sound of water as they await the arrival of El Niño and much-needed precipitation. While ... READ MORE

Playing Dirty in the War for Water

| I am a farmer’s daughter. I grew up checking sprinklers and changing irrigation with my dad in a pair of muddy boots. The experience afforded me an intimate awareness of the importance of having affordable water to nourish one’s crops. My family still farms in California, and as my last name indicates, our heritage is ... READ MORE

Interior Department Launches New, Interactive Web Tool to Show Effects of 16-Year Drought in the Colorado River Basin

| On the Heels of the White House Roundtable on Water Innovation, Department Unveils New Tool Using “Open Data,” Providing More Information to Make Better Water Management Decisions WASHINGTON – On the heels of a White House Roundtable on Water Innovation, the U.S. Department of the Interior today launched a new, interactive website to show the ... READ MORE

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