Understanding Changes in Raccoon River Nitrate

Read the full story from the University of Iowa.

As Iowa farmers have planted more acres of corn to meet the demand driven by the corn-based ethanol industry, many models predicted that nitrate concentrations in Iowa streams would increase accordingly. However, recent IIHR research based on water monitoring and published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation casts doubt on these predictions.

A Warming World Means Less Water, With Economic Consequences

Read the full story from NPR.

We often associate climate change with too much water — the melting ice caps triggering a rise in sea levels. Now a new World Bank report says we also need to think about too little water — the potable sort.

High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy examines the future effects of diminishing water supplies on the world. “Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems,” researchers write. “Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.”

Know It All: Solving the Fresh Water Crisis at Home

Read the full story from Pacific Standard.

Measures to conserve water are being adopted everywhere, and in endless variety, from low-flow toilets to credit markets for water savings. Some of the most innovative — but least heralded — work is being done by water utilities themselves. Here, we highlight five case studies that together illustrate some broad global trends in confronting the crisis.

Drought be Dammed

Read the full story at Pro Publica.

Climate change is fundamentally altering the environment, making the West hotter and drier. There is less water to store, and few remaining good sites for new dams.

Many of the existing dams, meanwhile, have proven far less efficient — and less effective — than their champions had hoped. They have altered ecosystems and disrupted fisheries. They have left taxpayers saddled with debt.

And, in what is perhaps the most egregious failure for a system intended to conserve water, many of them lose hundreds of billions of gallons of precious water each year to evaporation and, sometimes, to leakage underground. These losses increasingly undercut the longstanding benefits of damming big rivers like the Colorado, and may now be making the West’s water crisis worse.

Paducah Students Turn Water Conservation into Art

Read the full story at WKMS.

A local conservation organization is putting an artistic spin on sustainable water practices. The Jackson Purchase Foundation partnered with the City of Paducah, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, and students at Paducah Tilghman High School to implement Water Smarter! The Artistic Rain Barrel Partnership Project. The students designed and painted rain barrels that will be auctioned off tonight at the Clemens Fine Arts Center.

Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS

EPA has established health advisories for PFOA and PFOS based on the agency’s assessment of the latest peer-reviewed science to provide drinking water system operators, and state, tribal and local officials who have the primary responsibility for overseeing these systems, with information on the health risks of these chemicals, so they can take the appropriate actions to protect their residents. EPA is committed to supporting states and public water systems as they determine the appropriate steps to reduce exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. As science on health effects of these chemicals evolves, EPA will continue to evaluate new evidence.

As Drought Grips South Africa, A Conflict Over Water and Coal

Read the full story at Yale e360.

Facing one of the worst droughts in memory, South Africa’s leaders have doubled down on their support of the water-intensive coal industry. But clean energy advocates say the smartest move would be to back the country’s burgeoning wind and solar power sectors.