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Solar Electricity Buybacks May Reduce Groundwater Depletion in India

It’s hard to find solutions that confront water depletion, climate change and rural poverty all at once, but an innovative scheme being piloted in the Indian state of Gujarat does just that. The idea is to enable farmers using solar-powered irrigation pumps to sell excess electricity back to the grid. That gives them an incentive…

More Than Meets the Eye: Contribute to the World’s Largest Microplastics Dataset

Wherever you may travel, from alpine lakes and canyon-carving rivers to tropical shores, you can contribute to building the largest data set on microplastics.

A Farm Level View on Supply Chain Water Risk

WATSONVILLE, CA—Lettuce is a thirsty crop in parched California. It takes roughly 12 gallons to grow a single head, and Chris Willoughby, a mid-sized grower of leafy greens, broccoli and cabbage, is doing his best to cut back on that amount. When his wells ran salty 10 years ago, following decades of regional groundwater over…

From Running Water to No Water: In Search of Desert Bats

The search for water in the Namib Desert continues as we net for bats over a stretch of the running Hoarusib River and then pursue active springs on our way back through the Hoanib River.

What the River Knows: Yaqui River, Sonora, Mexico

My struggle as a river is interconnected with the struggle of my people, the Yaqui Indigenous Community of Mexico in the Sonoran desert, as I try to provide the ancestral source of water for drinking, everyday use, irrigation, and ceremonial purposes. Together we have had a long and complex history.

New U.S. Water Rule is Crucial for Clean Drinking Water and Resilience to Droughts and Floods

It took nearly a decade, but finally the waters left terribly muddied by two U.S. Supreme Court cases have gotten a good bit clearer. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a new rule clarifying which of the nation’s streams and wetlands come under the protections of the federal…

A Day to Celebrate the Diversity of Life

Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day to celebrate the amazing richness of life that shares this planet with us. Though we rarely think about it, it’s the behind-the-scenes work of bugs and birds, fish and frogs, flowers and trees, and micro-organisms of every stripe that keep earth humming and the landscape…

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #23

“Life in us is like the water in a river.” Henry David Thoreau The Okavango is the beating heart of Africa, home to an estimated 50% of the world’s elephants, most of the world’s hippo, and crucial populations of many other keystone species. There is no wilder place on earth: this is the Africa of…

Where Public Tap Water Begets Wilderness

New York City and Boston’s watershed management programs preserve rural landscapes while providing clean water to urban areas

Food and Beverage Companies Wake Up to Water Risks

Last week, Starbucks announced that it would stop sourcing and producing its bottled water brand, Ethos Water, in California and shift production from the Golden State to Pennsylvania. In explaining its decision, the beverage maker cited “the serious drought conditions and necessary water conservation efforts.” With California in its fourth year of a historic drought,…

Short Film Showcase: Cambodian Dam Project May Threaten People and Endangered Species

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/short-film-showcase/cambodian-dam-project-may-threaten-people-and-endangered-species Southwestern Cambodia’s Areng Valley is home to the Chong people, who have lived in the area for centuries, and to over 31 endangered species. Villagers have recently teamed up with Buddhist monks from Phnom Penh in an effort to protect the valley from a hydroelectric dam project. Filmmaker Kalyanee Mam highlights the region’s significance to one family—and what it might…

Epic Drought Forces California Grower to Re-think Water

NEWMAN, CA – California’s drought is challenging for all farmers, but it’s especially daunting for growers like Barat Bisabri, who is being forced to re-think his entire business model when it comes to water. “It’s not sustainable if it stays this way,” said Bisabri, who has seen a 10-fold jump in his water bills the…

What the River Knows: Eagle River, Colorado

In this series, “What the River Knows,” by Basia Irland, the artist and water activist writes from the perspective of each river, using the first person. Installments are published in Water Currents at regular intervals. The first post was about the Ping River in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Other posts include the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok; Kamo-gawa River, Kyoto;…

One Colorado Town’s Answer to a Catch-22 of Water Conservation

A few years ago, the town of Westminster, Colorado, just north of Denver, came eye-to-eye with an issue many water-conserving cities face when a resident posed this question at a public meeting, “Why do you ask me to conserve, and then raise my rates?” With droughts dotting the country and a growing number of areas…

Keeping the Wild Yampa Wild

By Nathan Fey, Colorado Stewardship Director for American Whitewater

Cutting through the steep canyons and arid sage lands of northwestern Colorado and northeastern Utah, the Yampa is the region’s lifeblood. A major tributary of the Colorado, which has been increasingly stretched as demand exceeds supply, and climate warms and dries, the river’s flows are eyed by downstream water-users in Utah, Arizona and California. That fact behooves all of us to take a closer look at how water is managed in the West.