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Toxic Algae Blooms and Agriculture: 5 Things to Know About Their Connection

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

The increase in frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms are a reminder that we need to make significant and lasting changes to the way we farm and produce our food, especially in reducing nutrient pollution. If you follow environmental or climate news, then you have probably noticed the rise in reporting about harmful algal blooms (aka toxic algae). Over the past …

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Water Footprint Calculator Methodology

In concepts & definitions, footprints

Our Water Footprint Calculator provides a snapshot of how a person’s daily activities and routines impact their water use. The results, reported as a water footprint, are meant to be an estimate that can help people better understand how their habits and behaviors contribute to their overall water use. The calculations used in the Water Footprint Calculator are an estimate. The data …

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Water Footprint Comparisons by Country

In concepts & definitions, footprints

Industrial water use makes up a large part of a person’s water footprint, and the value varies greatly by country. This chart lists the total volume of freshwater used to produce consumer goods like cars, t-shirts, plastic bottles and food – what’s also know as virtual water – on a per person basis for a variety of countries. The total volume …

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What Is a Water Footprint?

In concepts & definitions, footprints

Water footprints can be calculated for individuals, households, businesses and countries. GRACE’s Water Footprint Calculator helps people find out how their daily actions affect their individual water use. Fresh water is vital to life, but as the world’s population grows, so does its use of water.  It takes water – a lot of it – to produce food, to make energy and to …

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Farm Country Faces Water Pollution from Droughts and Rains Spurred by Climate Change

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

When it rains it pours…nitrogen pollution into rural waterways especially after periods of drought. A recent study made that link and begs the question: What will happen to water in farm country if this pattern keeps up? Sun-baked fields and bone-dry streambeds set the scene in 2012 as a severe drought gripped much of the Midwest. If farmers in the …

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To HAB and HAB Not? Harmful Algal Blooms Plaguing Our Waters

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Harmful algal blooms crop up because of excessive amounts of “nutrients,” primarily nitrogen and phosphorus, that act as super-charged feed for naturally occurring algae. These toxic blooms are a growing threat to public and ecosystem health. The transition from summer to fall is upon us, which means that peak foliage and peak pumpkin spice are just weeks away. Also peaking …

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Lake Mead: How Low Can You Flow?

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Lake Mead supplies 90 percent of Las Vegas’ drinking water and frequently goes low enough to make water managers at the US Bureau of Reclamation nervous. It was a sweltering 108-degree June day when I landed in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was there to give a talk about water and sustainability at the University Council on Water Resources 2015 conference. …