Trump rolls back decades of Clean Water Act protections

Trump rolls back decades of Clean Water Act protections

American bullfrog floating at the surface of a farm pond in Kentucky USA

The Trump administration has taken aim at removing environmental federal protections for wetlands and isolated streams from pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal redefining US waters under the Clean Water Act.

Farm and agriculture lobbyists have pushed for these changes since 2015.

But environmentalists say they could result in contaminating millions of acres of waters … [more…]

Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels

photo: solar power cells installed, replacing fossil fuels energy sources

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently highlighted a little-discussed benefit of using renewables like wind and solar to produce electricity: Unlike most power sources, they require “almost no water.”

This is remarkable because thermoelectric power generation is the leading use of water in America. (That said, only three percent of power generation’s 133 billion gallons a day of water is considered “consumptive use,” as the U.S. Geological Survey says, “meaning … [more…]

Building Roots for a More Water Secure California

photo: showing the difference between healthy soil and barren soil.

Photo: NRCS Scientists Holding Up Two Soil Samples. US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service

The recently released National Climate Assessment discussed the impacts of climate change on our nation’s water supply and agricultural productivity. The levels of uncertainty regarding the future of our water supply are troubling. Changes in precipitation patterns will intensify droughts and increase heavy downpours. Hotter, more extreme weather will disrupt how well and how … [more…]

US groundwater in peril: potable water supply less than thought

photo: a private, potable groundwater well in New Mexico, USA

Photo: A groundwater well near Estancia, New Mexico. Credit: Debra Perrone

The U.S. groundwater supply is smaller than originally thought, according to a new research study that includes a University of Arizona hydrologist.

The study provides important insights into the depths of underground fresh and brackish water in some of the most prominent sedimentary basins across the U.S.

The research by scientists from the University of Saskatchewan, the UA and … [more…]

On-farm Treatment Options for Wastewater, Greywater and Fecal Sludge

illustration: workers in irrigated fields

Fecal contamination of urban and peri-urban water bodies is a major health issue in most low- and middle-income countries, where population growth exceeds the rate of development of wastewater or fecal sludge collection and treatment infrastructure. While the expansion of sewer systems and treatment capacity remain a high priority for municipal authorities, there are opportunities for applying low-cost, small-scale on-farm options for safe recovery of wastewater and fecal sludge for … [more…]