California’s Central Valley may never recover from past and future droughts

Groundwater in California's Central Valley may be unable to recover from past and future droughts

Water in the San Luis reservoir, which was constructed as a storage reservoir in California’s Central Valley. Groundwater in this region may never be able to recover from past and future droughts, according to new research published in Water Resources Research. Credit: Fredrick Lee

Groundwater in California’s Central Valley is at risk of being depleted by pumping too much water during and after droughts, according to a new study … [more…]

Environmental group: Iowa’s waterway cleanup plan could take 22,000 years

Environmental group: Iowa’s waterway cleanup plan could take 22,000 years

The Iowa Environmental Council is working to improve water quality in Iowa’s lakes, including West Okoboji Lake, shown here. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa’s work to clean polluted waterways is so slow it will take as much as 22,000 years to meet some of the goals in the state’s voluntary plan, the Iowa Environmental Council reported.

The nonprofit’s latest review of the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy — the

[more…]

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Near or far, forests — like this one at the edge of Hong Kong — affect the movement, quality and availability of water in cities. Photo by Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Water is essential to human health and well-being. In cities, leaders strive to provide secure access to clean, safe and affordable water. In rural areas, farmers hope for adequate rain and healthy rivers to produce healthy crops. The coronavirus pandemic reminds … [more…]

The US is in a water crisis far worse than most people imagine

A sample of tap water taken in Flint, Michigan. Photograph: Garrett MacLean/The Guardian

Industrial runoff and lax standards have tainted water across the US. Senators and doctors are calling me, asking what to do

When I was a little girl, my father would sing songs to me all the time about water. Sometimes, we would be playing down at the creeks and he would make up little tunes: “See that … [more…]

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

The burning question: How do wildfires impact watersheds?

Photo: Site of the Brian Head wildfire in Utah still showing clear impacts more than a year after the fire Image Credit: arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Article: Maina, F. Z., & Siirila‐Woodburn, E. R. (2020). Watersheds dynamics following wildfires: Nonlinear feedbacks and implications on hydrologic responses. Hydrological Processes , 34 (1), 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13568

For people in the western United States, images of devastating wildfires have become a terrifyingly familiar … [more…]