News Briefs

News briefs and articles about water footprints, water use and availability, as well as interviews with key people in the fields of water footprints and water use.

Farmers’ Climate Change U-Pick: Low Crop Yields or Instability

July 13, 2020

Climate change will force some farmers to choose between lower crop yields and unstable production, according to a new Cornell and Washington State University study. This dilemma stems from risk exposure to water shortages and higher temperatures that will likely push crop yields down in areas that rely on irrigation water that includes seasonal snowpack. […]

US rivers and lakes are shrinking for a surprising reason: cows

July 8, 2020

Cattle-feed crops account for 23 percent of water consumption in the US and are rapidly becoming a major driver of water shortages across the country. Crops like alfalfa and hay which are fed to cattle end up as beef and dairy products. Those crops require a lot of irrigation and are often grown in arid […]

EPA Issued New Water Rule That Could Hurt Water Quality

June 29, 2020

After years of effort, the Trump administration’s EPA rolled back the Obama-era rule to clarify the Clean Water Act and replaced it with a new water rule that could increase pollution. Called the Navigable Waters Act, the new rule narrows the definition of waters that can be protected by eliminating many small streams and wetlands […]

Groundwater plans could cause up to 12,000 drinking water wells to run dry

June 26, 2020

Between 4,000 and 12,000 domestic water wells could go dry over the next 20 years if California state groundwater sustainability plans are enacted, according to a new report released by the Water Foundation. The sustainability plans were created to help bring the Central Valley’s depleted groundwater aquifers into balance, per the California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. […]

Lake Powell Reached Capacity 40 Years Ago. But What Do The Coming Decades Hold In Store?

June 25, 2020

The Lake Powell water level reached capacity in the 1980s. Created in the 1920s to store Colorado River water to be used for farms, homes and businesses, capacity calculations for the reservoir were based on a now changed set of assumptions about precipitation and water availability. Those capacity assumptions are the basis of the amount […]

New Report Puts Spotlight on Drinking Water Policy Advances and Challenges

June 24, 2020

A new report about drinking water policy just released by the Water Foundation and the US Water Alliance that was based on roundtables held around the country found that “despite regional differences, leaders face many shared challenges, and winning coalitions and campaigns have approached drinking water challenges in some similar ways,” yet they face similar obstacles […]

Access to water and COVID-19: seven measures countries in Asia can take now

June 23, 2020

More than 40 percent of the world’s population lacks access to adequate handwashing facilities, even though handwashing is an effective way to help prevent spreading COVID-19. In Asian countries many people lack access to clean water or handwashing facilities, although it varies by country and region within countries. Southeast Asia has more handwashing facilities than […]

Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use a Sign of Climate Adaptation

June 19, 2020

Use of Colorado River water in the river’s lower basin fell to a 33-year low in 2019. Arizona, California, and Nevada consumed just over 6.5 million acre-feet last year, about 1 million acre-feet less than the states are entitled to use under Colorado River Compact. River water consumption hasn’t been that low since 1986. “It […]

Sewage may help predict future virus outbreaks.

June 15, 2020

The key to finding outbreaks of the COVID-19 may lie in detecting the Coronavirus in sewage. As the United States struggles to establish adequate testing programs in communities around the country, testing for the virus in sewage might present a collective early warning tool that could indicate an outbreak among specific communities. Based on methods […]