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…]

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…]

The Science Is Clear: Dirty Farm Water Is Making Us Sick

photo of romaine lettuce growing in field: Dirty Farm Water Is Making Us Sick

This story originally appeared on Reveal and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Photo: Getty Images

William Whitt suffered violent diarrhea for days. But once he began vomiting blood, he knew it was time to rush to the hospital. His body swelled up so much that his wife thought he looked like the Michelin Man, and on the inside, his intestines were inflamed and bleeding.

For four days last

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California voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

photo: irrigation canal in central California. Voters rejected Proposition 3. Where now on water?

In this Feb. 25, 2016 file photo, water flows through an irrigation canal to crops near Lemoore, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP

California voters have rejected Proposition 3, the $8.9 billion water bond, sending a message to politicians. But what is that message?

It can’t be that the state’s water problems have been solved. They haven’t been.

It can’t be that Californians don’t care about water. Poll after poll shows we … [more…]

Benefits of Groundwater Recharge Demonstrated in Lodi Vineyards

photo: flooding a vineyard in order to recharge the groundwater supply.

Costa Vineyards in Lodi is successfully using groundwater recharge in this 14-acre Zinfandel block. Photo: Ted Rieger

Groundwater is a major source of irrigation water for California agriculture and is increasingly being managed and regulated to address the overdrafting of aquifers in many of the state’s groundwater basins. The ability to capture and store water for future use through groundwater recharge on existing farmlands has been demonstrated in recent years, … [more…]