California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

THE DREAMT LAND
Chasing Water and Dust Across California

By Mark Arax
Reported by J. Steven Young

When delegates to the second International Irrigation Congress convened in Los Angeles in October 1893, pessimism about their mission was not supposed to be on the agenda. The gathering, after all, was meant to encourage reclamation of arid lands throughout the American West, using irrigation to transform an immense wasteland into an agriculturally … [more…]

Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water.

Some … [more…]

What drought? These states are gearing up to draw more water from the Colorado.

photo: the Colorado River

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Wyoming wants to modify the Fontenelle Dam so it can use an extra 80,000 acre-feet of water from a tributary of the once-mighty Colorado River. At its headwaters, Denver Water hopes to expand a reservoir’s capacity by 77,000 acre-feet of water. And several hundred miles south, Utah is trying to build a pipeline that can funnel another 86,000 acre-feet out of the river.

There … [more…]

Rivers are critical for groundwater recharge

Rivers are critical for groundwater recharge

Photo: In a report released recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, University of California, and the India Meteorological Department, Pune, said nearly 50% of the country is currently facing drought with at least 16% falling in the “exceptional” or “extreme” category (Hindustan Times)

India’s groundwater recharge is not adequate even though drought conditions are making us extract more and more of the resource, and that the people are wasting

[more…]

How Is the Netherlands Preparing for Sea Level Rise?

How Is the Netherlands Preparing for Sea Level Rise?

Illustration: a “floodable park” helps drain rising waters, such as stormwater, from surrounding areas.

Floodable parks, salty lettuce, and other tools for a soggy planet

As sea levels rise, people with expertise in keeping water at bay are going to become very popular. Many of them will likely be Dutch. The Netherlands has been constructing flood barriers for centuries and added a massive network of dams and levees after a … [more…]