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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…

Epic California Drought and Groundwater: Where Do We Go From Here?

Yesterday our team at the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling released a report on the California drought.  The report describes the birds-eye view of statewide water resources that we see from the NASA GRACE satellite mission. We’ve been working since the mid-1990’s, well before the mission was launched in 2002, to develop and test methods…

Reflections on World Water Week 2013

Posted by Stephanie Castle  following World Water Week 2013.  This is the third in a series of three posts. The first, called Moving Towards True Collaboration, was posted by Kate Voss in Stockholm. The second, called Groundwater: The Elephant Underfoot, was posted by Sasha Richey following the meeting. World Water Week (WWW) 2013 brought together…

Groundwater: The Elephant Underfoot

Posted by Sasha Richey following World Water Week 2013. This is the second in a series of three posts. The first, called Moving Towards True Collaboration, was posted by Kate Voss in Stockholm. The Hidden Resource Groundwater is often called the “Hidden Resource.” Buried a few meters beneath Earth’s surface, or a few hundred depending…

Indian Farmers Cope With Climate Change and Falling Water Tables

By Meha Jain, National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Climate change is predicted to negatively impact millions of farmers across the globe, with some studies predicting up to a 40% decline in crop yields over the upcoming decades. For my dissertation, I travel to Gujarat, India, to understand how farmers are affected by and are responding…

Water Issues Ripple Through Obama Climate Change Speech

President Obama’s climate change speech on Tuesday from Georgetown University was full of references to climate change impacts on water availability, flooding, and drought.  He dealt head on with key issues of changing water cycle intensity, and in particular, with the increasing frequency of hydrologic extremes.  From the outset, the President invoked the Blue Marble…

The Fracker’s Quest: More Water

By Peyton Fleming, Ceres DENVER – Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) has recast the U.S.’s energy future, but it’s also shining a light on fragile water supplies, which could crimp the industry’s growth. The pinch is especially strong on shale energy producers and state regulators who are scrambling to find ways to keep the water flowing…

Tapped Out: How Will Cities Secure Their Water Future?

Today, global demands for food, energy, and shelter are putting unprecedented pressure on the resources of the planet. Water is at the heart of this crisis. In fact, more than half of the world’s cities are already experiencing water shortages on a recurring basis – based on findings from a study that I published, along…

Parallel Worlds: Water Management in Israel and California

Posted from Jerusalem by Kate Voss, UCCHM Water Policy Fellow. This is the second in a series of posts on our Water Diplomacy trip to Israel, Jordan and Palestine.  Other posts in the series: 1) Middle East Lost a Dead Sea Amount of Water in 7 Years, by Jay Famiglietti ; and 3) Desalinating Holy…

The Middle East Lost a Dead Sea-Size Amount of Water in 7 Years

Posted from Amman, Jordan.  This is the first in a series of posts on our water diplomacy trip to Israel, Jordan and Palestine.  Other posts in the series: 2) Parallel Worlds:  Water Management in Israel and California, by UCCHM Policy Fellow Kate Voss; 3) Desalinating Holy Waters with the Red Sea – Dead Sea Conveyance,…

In Search of a Groundwater Policy on Behalf of Rivers

By Andrew Fahlund and Rebecca Nelson You don’t expect to see water in the highest, biggest mountain desert in North America—the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado.  But it’s there. Two major aquifers support ephemeral lakes, wetlands, springs, and a broad, dense patchwork of farms—the highest farmland in the U.S.  The Rio Grande also winds through…

Our Oversized Groundwater Footprint

We don’t see it, smell it or hear it, but the tragedy unfolding underground is nonetheless real – and it spells big trouble. I’m talking about the depletion of groundwater, the stores of H2O contained in geologic formations called aquifers, which billions of people depend upon to supply their drinking water and grow their food.…

That Sinking Feeling About Groundwater in Texas

In case we need another example of the disturbing ramifications of extreme drought for our future water security, we can look to recent news out of northwest Texas. The High Plains Water District, based in Lubbock, recently reported that the 2011-12 drought drove groundwater levels in its sixteen-county service area to drop an average of…

Wanted: Vision and Leadership to Ensure a Sustainable Water Future for America

I recently wrote a piece for the Hydrology Newsletter of the American Geophysical Union — the international professional society of Earth and Space scientists based in the United States — and I thought that the modified version presented here would be important to share with the readership of Water Currents. Here’s the set-up. A critical…

The Endangered Waters Beneath Our Feet

    Last week, the conservation organization American Rivers released its annual list of the nation’s most-endangered rivers. I got to thinking, what if we had a sister list of most-endangered aquifers? After all, water from underground meets 20 percent of U.S. water demand for drinking, crop irrigation and everything else. It also provides the…