Could Phoenix survive a water crisis?

photo: Could Phoenix Arizona survive a water crisis?

There is a limited and shrinking supply, growing demand, and a long-run picture that looks, from many angles, hopelessly apocalyptic. Inside the elaborate, diverse, and ever-evolving effort to manage water in what some have called “America’s least sustainable city.”

An hour north of Phoenix, Arizona, Chip Norton drives his truck toward the Verde River. Norton spent the last decade of his career as a public works contractor for water facilities. … [more…]

Iowa deserves to be more than just a feedlot between two rivers

photo: promotion for 'Stop Factory Farms' event

In December, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey introduced a historic new vision for agriculture and food in the United States. The Farm System Reform Act would overhaul our unsustainable food and agriculture model and strengthen the Packers & Stockyards Act to give independent family farmers a fighting chance against monopolistic, corporate integrators. It restores mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, so consumers know where their food is coming from.… [more…]

Nitrates Before and After: This is what happened

Photo: confluence of rivers with nitrogen loads - This is what happened

Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want to know what the “natural” level of nitrate was. It turns out we do have some actual data. In 1955, the Iowa Geological Survey published a document titled “Water-Supply Bulletin No. 5, Quality of Surface Waters of Iowa, 1886-1954” (1). Some of these data are shown below (as nitrogen).

Confluence of the … [more…]

Farmers Employ Strategies To Reduce Risk of Drought Damages

Farmers Employ Strategies To Reduce Risk of Drought Damages

Drought is the leading driver of production risk in U.S. agriculture. Although flooding, early frosts, pests, and other risk factors pose major challenges to farmers, no other source of production risk is as nationally significant as drought in terms of lost agricultural production and income. A major drought can reduce crop yields, lead farmers to cut back planted or harvested acreage, reduce livestock producthttps://www.h2oiq.org/?p=6729&preview=trueivity, and increase costs of production inputs … [more…]

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

Fresh Thinking: Freshwater Science Is Being Pioneered in Arizona

About 71 percent of the Earth is covered by water, and most of that is ocean. Only 2.5 percent is fresh water, and only a fraction of that—1 percent—is easily accessible. The world’s population of 7.6 billion is expected to grow to 9.8 billion by the year 2050, which means by that year, more than half the people on Earth will live in water-stressed areas. The demand for potable and … [more…]