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…]

It’s time for California to let some of its thirsty farmland go

It’s time for California to let some of its thirsty farmland go

Some half a million acres of the most productive agricultural region on the planet — California’s San Joaquin Valley — will have to fall fallow, a new report says. There just isn’t enough water.

Farmers have been using so much water that wells have run dry and the ground has sunk as much as 28 feet in places. So California passed a law back in 2014 to stop its overdraft … [more…]

A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert.

photo: the Mojave desert sits above an underground aquifer - should be tap it or preserve it or recharge it?

Photo: The sun sets on the Mojave National Preserve in Kelso, Calif., in early February. There is water under the desert, and whether to tap it on a commercial scale is a crucial debate in California. (Jenna Schoenefeld for The Washington Post)

Could it help solve California’s water problem?

CADIZ VALLEY, Calif. — The landscape here is more Martian than Earthly, rust and tan plains that rise in the distance … [more…]

‘If there’s no water, what’s the point?’ Female farmers in Arizona

Arizona has the highest proportion of female farmers – but conditions in this dry desert landscape aren’t easy, and rural isolation has created a tapestry of challenges

By 9am, it’s already 100F (38C). In the desert afternoons, rain gathers on the horizon, teasing – and then it disappears. There is so much heaviness, so much waiting. I pulled on to the ranch of Anastasia Rabin with Audra Mulkern, a Washington-based … [more…]