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Colorado River Basin’s “Natural Capital” Delivers up to Half a Trillion in Annual Benefits, New Study Says

Last week I spent time around the Animas, La Plata, and San Juan Rivers in southwestern Colorado – generally the area between Pagosa Springs and Mesa Verde National Park, where the elaborate cliff-dwelling ruins of the Anasazi remind us that what we call home may not last forever. On one bright blue day pushing 90…

#okavango14: The First-Ever Live-Data Expedition Across the Okavango Delta

As the Okavango

Protecting Asia’s Giant Salmon, one River at a Time

Portland, Oregon – Big news about a big fish this week, in a forgotten corner of the world.  Our Russian conservation partner, Khabarovsk Wildlife Foundation, announced the creation of a new freshwater protected area (PA) in the Russian Far East, the Tugursky Nature Reserve (see Wild Salmon Center press release here). This large river system,…

13 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the U.S. Water System (But Should)

  It’s been a rough year for the U.S. water system already, and it’s only summer. Two U.S. cities (Charleston, West Virginia, and Toledo, Ohio) have gone for days with no safe water service. The nation’s largest reservoir is lower than it’s ever been. The nation’s largest state is in the worst drought ever recorded.…

CA Farmers Find Unlikely Ally In Weathering Drought: A Major Utility Company

By Peyton Fleming Senior Communications Director, Ceres Joe Segura works for the electric and gas utility PG&E, but he sounds more like a farmer when you spend time with him. Driving around the drought-parched San Joaquin Valley here in California’s Central Valley, Segura winces as he describes groundwater wells “being sucked dry” and drives by…

4 Things You Need To Know About the California Drought

Oscar Winner Jessica Yu updates her 2012 water documentary Last Call at the Oasis and shares 4 outtakes on the California drought, groundwater depletion and novel ideas on saving water. As you have read here in Water Currents and all over the news, the California drought is by all accounts epic.  When the potential for…

Urban Swimming: Portland’s Willamette River

  Through my goggles, I watch the sun lighting up the surface of the water, gold-green. My air bubbles are silver against the dark below. Each time I take a breath I look for the bright caps of my fellow swimmers, keeping track of where I am in the group, and the Hawthorne Bridge, just…

Growing A Solution To California’s Groundwater Crisis

By Peyton Fleming Senior Communications Director, Ceres Three years before the California drought became a national crisis, national berry giant Driscoll’s, on the state’s Central Coast, knew it had a major problem with water. It was disappearing. As a result, water rights lawsuits had become commonplace, water rates were rising again and the precious liquid…

Stop that Cow: When Ecuadoran Cities Organize to Protect Water Supplies

Arturo Quevedo, the engineer responsible for the watershed protection program for Loja, Ecuador’s municipal water agency, has a kind demeanor. His slightly crooked front teeth are prominent beneath his moustache as he waxes ebullient about clean water percolating through forested slopes, coursing through pipes, and hydrating Loja’s children. But don’t let the gentle, nature-lover exterior fool you. As tender as he is with the landscape, he is equally fierce in sniffing out water-polluting scum.

A Short List of Effective Actions to Conserve Water at Home

With droughts and water shortages slated to affect ever-larger portions of the United States, more and more people wonder how they can meaningfully make a difference. Lots of websites offer water-saving tips, but which actions actually conserve meaningful volumes of water?  And which offer the most conservation bang for the buck? A new study out…

Sarufutsu River “Jumping” with Itou Salmon, Researchers Report

In the field of conservation, we are often faced with the question “Is a certain species or population secure?”  As I mentioned in my earlier blog this year, it is not an easy question to answer, particularly for river fishes that are elusive by nature.  However, I am happy to report we are making substantial…

Groundwater Depletion in Colorado River Basin Poses Big Risk to Water Security

Let’s step back for a minute and consider the implications of the study released last week on the depletion of groundwater in the Colorado River Basin. For anyone concerned about the future of the American West, the findings of this study – which was published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and conducted by…

Robert Redford celebrates water flowing in the Colorado River Delta

(July 25, 2014)  Today is Colorado River Day. Spend a few minutes with Robert Redford as he narrates a new video from Raise the River documenting the historic 2014 pulse flow release of water into the Colorado River Delta, where the river had been largely absent for the past 50 years.  The river flowed, birds sang, and people came…

How the West was Lost

Just as the settling and development of the arid American West was fueled by harnessing its available fresh water, the growing lack of water availability may well be its undoing. California’s epic drought is just the latest example of what is shaping up to be the new normal out west.  Last year was the driest…

Drought Hastens Groundwater Depletion in the Texas Panhandle

Persistent drought in northwest Texas is leading farmers to pump more water from the Ogallala Aquifer, hastening the depletion of this crucial water supply. Over the last decade, from 2004-2014, average underground water levels across the 16-county High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) have dropped 8.83 feet (2.69 meters), with three counties seeing average…