Shallow Waters

Shallow Waters

In a warmer world, the fight for water can push nations apart — or bring them together

The Rio Grande Valley of Texas is one of the fastest-growing places in the United States. Already hot and arid, and growing hotter, the booming, heavily Latino region depends almost entirely on the shriveling Rio Grande for water. Considered one of the most endangered rivers in North America, the Rio Grande provides drinking … [more…]

California’s water agencies lose millions of gallons underground due to leaky pipes

photo: California water agencies lose millions of gallons due to leaky pipes

Photo: Water continues to flow into a sinkhole from the broken water main on Sunset Boulevard near UCLA,Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Michael Owen Baker / Staff Photographer)

As 20 million gallons of drinking water rushed down Sunset Boulevard and flooded the UCLA campus this summer, drought-conscious residents threw up their hands.

How are three-minute showers going to make a difference, they asked, when the city’s pipes are bursting?

Turns out … [more…]

A permanent solution to California’s water woes — seawater

photo: workin on pipes at world's largest desalination plant (Carlsbad, San Diego County, California)

Workers move a pipe in front of the 2000 pressure vessels that will be used to convert seawater into fresh water through reverse osmosis in the western hemisphere’s largest desalination plant in Carlsbad (San Diego County). Long ignored as too costly and environmentally dubious, desalination is returning to the public discussion of how to address California’s water woes. Photo: Gregory Bull / Associated Press 2015

“During the dry years, the

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‘Like a Terror Movie’: How Climate Change Will Cause More Simultaneous Disasters

photo: disaster areas and climate change

Photo: A seaside neighborhood in Mexico Beach, Fla., devastated by Hurricane Michael this year. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Global warming is posing such wide-ranging risks to humanity, involving so many types of phenomena, that by the end of this century some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related crises at the same time, researchers say.

This chilling prospect is described in a paper published Monday in Nature [more…]

New Estimate Finds Less Fresh Groundwater in U.S. Than Previously Assumed

photo: drilling rig and drilling for water

Photo: Well drillers for Hydro Resources drill a well near Sublette, Kansas. Photo © Brian Lehmann / Circle of Blue By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue

Drilling deeper not a long-term strategy, authors say.

When a severe drought enveloped California a few years ago and rivers shriveled, farmers in the Central Valley punched wells deeper underground, seeking to tap water reserves that were untouched by aridity on the surface.

In … [more…]