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.

VIDEO: Tracing Virtual Water in US Meat and Ethanol

September 18, 2020

Meat From Animals Raised in Water-Scarce Areas Can Affect Virtual Water The video below traces the virtual water — or embedded water — it takes to produce US meat and ethanol to better understand potential risks in water-scarce areas. The video explains the results of a study by University of Minnesota researchers who looked at […]

Toxic Algae Makes Iowa’s Des Moines River “Essentially Unusable” for Drinking Water

September 9, 2020

Toxic Algae is a Problem for Drinking Water Toxic algae has made Iowa’s Des Moines River “essentially unusable” for drinking water without intensive — and expensive — treatment, Des Moines Water Works leaders said. To get the river up to drinking water standards requires huge effort and costs to remove the toxin that comes from […]

Turning Toilet Water into Beer

August 27, 2020

Craft Brewery Recycles Toilet Water Craft Breweries use a lot of water to make their beer: they use water to irrigate barley and hops and to process their beer. On average, North American breweries use seven gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. To lessen this burden, a handful of breweries have experimented with treated wastewater […]

After More Than Two Decades, Landmark New York City Watershed Protection Plan Is Working

August 18, 2020

The NYC Watershed Protection Program The NYC Watershed Protection Program is working well but now must change to meet the coming challenges climate change will present, according to a recent evaluation by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). The city’s drinking water system supplies about 1 billion gallons of water a day […]

Water-Scarce Native American Reservations See Widespread COVID-19 Transmission

July 28, 2020

COVID-19 Exposes Water Problems for Native Americans For some Native Americans, water scarcity and lack of clean drinking water access within homes has made the spread of COVID-19 even worse. The Navajo Nation, for example, has become a coronavirus hot spot that even surpassed New York State for the highest per capita infection rate countrywide. […]

4 ways to reduce your water waste in the kitchen

July 21, 2020

Water waste is hard on our water supply and our sustainability. Reducing water waste in the kitchen is not as hard as you might think. Some simple steps can help you be more sustainable and efficient in your water use. Want to reduce water waste in your kitchen? Here’s how. Good Housekeeping gives the following […]

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 […]