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Ag-Related Nitrate Common in Small Town Water Supplies, Says New EWG Report

In water news and events

According to a new EWG report, the drinking water supplies for millions of people living in farm country are compromised because of a pollutant associated with agriculture: nitrate. Excessive nitrates spawn harmful algal blooms that form “dead zones” and, in infants, can cause the potentially deadly “blue baby syndrome.” According to EWG, “Drinking water supplies for more than 200 million Americans in 49 states have some …

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New Online Tool Teaches Students About the Energy-Water Nexus

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Using a new online tool, students can use real energy and water data sets to explore how surface and groundwater use are impacted by population changes, power generation and water-saving strategies. The interactions between food, energy and water supplies are critically important to sustainability. Energy and water are strongly interrelated because it takes water to create energy and it takes …

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NASA Ends Trailblazing Satellite Mission that Revealed Global Groundwater Trends

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NASA and its partners ended the GRACE satellite mission this week after eight of 20 battery units in one of the paired satellites stopped working. The satellites – GRACE-1 and GRACE-2 – worked in tandem to measure fractional changes in Earth’s gravity due to, among other things, the amount of groundwater in prominent aquifers.  Data obtained by the satellites helped …

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Cape Town Rations Water Before Reservoirs Hit Zero

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Due to severe drought, Cape Town, South Africa is imposing extreme conservation measures on it’s 4 million residents in order to avoid having it’s water system turned off. After three years of extremely low rainfall, Capetonians will be allowed no more than 23 gallons per household (equivalent to about a 10-minute shower). This extreme  measure is necessary to avoid reaching …

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How much water flows into agricultural irrigation?

In water news and events

A recently published study figured out how to more precisely monitor agricultural irrigation using satellite and environmental data from Google Earth Engine. Such new research methods are important because agriculture is the largest use of fresh water around the globe, but precise data and maps are in short supply for farmers and water resource managers. The project focuses on vital …